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Close approach of Jupiter and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

Jupiter and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 0°22' of each other.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:44 (EST) – 3 hours and 24 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 33° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:49.

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Jupiter will be at mag -1.8, and Mars at mag 1.7, both in the constellation Leo.

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

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

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

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 11h02m20s +07°11' Leo -1.8 31"4
Mars 11h03m00s +07°32' Leo 1.7 4"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 40° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 17 October 2015
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

4-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


4 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:33 11:34 17:35
Venus 03:14 09:45 16:16
Moon 11:19 16:17 21:16
Mars 03:42 10:12 16:42
Jupiter 03:43 10:12 16:40
Saturn 10:18 15:11 20:05
All times shown in EDT.


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

06 Feb 2015  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 Mar 2016  –  Jupiter at opposition
07 Apr 2017  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 May 2018  –  Jupiter at opposition

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