Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
The Moon, Mars and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within 3°44' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.
From Fairfield, the trio will become visible around 17:17 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 26° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 0 minutes after the Sun at 19:57.
The Moon will be at mag -10.3; Mars will be at mag 1.2; and Neptune will be at mag 8.0. The trio will lie in the constellation Aquarius.
They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Mars around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the trio at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 35° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.
|The sky on 22 January 2015|
2 days old
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.
|12 Dec 2014||– Mars at perihelion|
|14 Jun 2015||– Mars at solar conjunction|
|11 Jul 2015||– Mars at apogee|
|20 Nov 2015||– Mars at aphelion|