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Close approach of Mars and Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Mars and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 0°12' of each other.

From Fairfield, the pair will become visible around 17:38 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 23° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 4 minutes after the Sun at 19:57.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

Mars will be at mag 1.2; and Neptune will be at mag 8.0. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aquarius.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

At around the same time, the pair will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

A graph of the angular separation between Mars and Neptune around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 22h31m20s -10°17' Aquarius 1.2 4"5
Neptune 22h31m00s -10°05' Aquarius 8.0 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 36° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 19 January 2015
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

28-day old moon
Waning Crescent


28 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:05 13:14 18:22
Venus 08:26 13:30 18:34
Moon 06:09 11:09 16:08
Mars 09:03 14:29 19:55
Jupiter 18:25 01:30 08:31
Saturn 03:08 08:02 12:57
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

29 Aug 2014  –  Neptune at opposition
25 Feb 2015  –  Neptune at solar conjunction
31 Aug 2015  –  Neptune at opposition
28 Feb 2016  –  Neptune at solar conjunction

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