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Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 0°05' of each other. The Moon will be 25 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:53 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 41° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:40.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.1; and Mars will be at mag 1.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.

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 the Moon 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
The Moon 12h52m00s -04°04' Virgo -11.1 29'30"8
Mars 12h52m10s -03°59' Virgo 1.5 4"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 59° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 05 December 2015
Sunrise
06:58
Sunset
16:12
Twilight ends
17:52
Twilight begins
05:17

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent

24%

24 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:55 12:17 16:40
Venus 03:16 08:45 14:13
Moon 01:17 07:14 13:10
Mars 01:51 07:40 13:29
Jupiter 23:56 06:19 12:39
Saturn 06:28 11:14 16:00
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

20 Nov 2015  –  Mars at aphelion
22 May 2016  –  Mars at opposition
30 May 2016  –  Mars at perigee
29 Oct 2016  –  Mars at perihelion

Image credit

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Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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