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Close approach of the Moon, Venus and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon, Venus and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 1°56' of each other. The Moon will be 2 days old.

From Fairfield, the trio will become visible around 17:51 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 21° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 21 minutes after the Sun at 19:53.

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

The Moon will be at mag -9.8; Venus will be at mag -4.0; and Mars will be at mag 1.3. The trio will lie in the constellation Pisces.

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.

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

A graph of the angular separation between the Moon and Venus 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 Moon 23h59m10s +00°54' Pisces -9.8 33'12"0
Venus 00h01m30s -00°56' Pisces -4.0 11"7
Mars 00h02m30s -00°21' Pisces 1.3 4"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 28° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 20 February 2015
Sunrise
06:41
Sunset
17:32
Twilight ends
19:04
Twilight begins
05:09

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

5%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:26 10:22 15:18
Venus 07:54 13:53 19:52
Moon 07:37 13:39 19:41
Mars 07:53 13:55 19:56
Jupiter 15:58 23:04 06:14
Saturn 01:11 06:04 10:58
All times shown in EST.

Source

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

26 Dec 2014  –  Venus at aphelion
18 Apr 2015  –  Venus at perihelion
12 May 2015  –  Venus reaches highest point in evening sky
06 Jun 2015  –  Venus at dichotomy

Image credit

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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