The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Jupiter and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Jupiter and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 22.6 arcminutes of each other.

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:02 (EST) – 3 hours and 17 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 28° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:34.

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Jupiter will be at mag -1.8; and Mars will be at mag 1.7. Both objects will lie in the constellation Leo.

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

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Jupiter 11h02m20s 7°11'N Leo -1.8 31"4
Mars 11h03m00s 7°32'N 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 25 Feb 2024

The sky on 25 February 2024
Sunrise
06:47
Sunset
17:57
Twilight ends
19:26
Twilight begins
05:17

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

97%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:52 12:16 17:39
Venus 05:41 10:43 15:45
Moon 18:09 00:55 07:30
Mars 05:39 10:37 15:36
Jupiter 09:31 16:21 23:11
Saturn 07:03 12:34 18:05
All times shown in EST.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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

08 Apr 2015  –  Jupiter ends retrograde motion
07 Jan 2016  –  Jupiter enters retrograde motion
08 Mar 2016  –  Jupiter at opposition
09 May 2016  –  Jupiter ends retrograde motion

Image credit

The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

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Ashburn

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Longitude:
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39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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