Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
The Moon and Mars will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 1°29' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 23 days old.
From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:42 (EDT) – 5 hours and 48 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 40° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:10.
The Moon will be at mag -11.5, and Mars at mag 1.2, both in the constellation Virgo.
The pair 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 two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 73° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 03 January 2016|
23 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.
|08 Apr 2014||– Mars at opposition|
|22 May 2016||– Mars at opposition|
|27 Jul 2018||– Mars at opposition|
|13 Oct 2020||– Mars at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.