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

Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 at13:46 EST(746 days ago)
18:46 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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Ashburn
The sky at

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.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:42 (EST) – 5 hours and 48 minutes before the Sun – and reach 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 Moon 13h53m10s -08°32' Virgo -11.5 29'37"2
Mars 13h53m10s -10°01' Virgo 1.2 5"6

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
Sunrise 07:28
Sunset 16:58
Twilight ends
18:33
Twilight begins
05:52

23-day old moon
Age of Moon
23 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:35 13:29 18:23
Venus 04:35 09:33 14:30
Moon 01:20 06:59 12:39
Mars 01:42 07:12 12:42
Jupiter 22:36 04:56 11:12
Saturn 05:06 09:58 14:51

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

08 Apr 2014, 16:57 EDT  –  Mars at opposition
22 May 2016, 07:10 EDT  –  Mars at opposition
27 Jul 2018, 01:07 EDT  –  Mars at opposition
13 Oct 2020, 19:19 EDT  –  Mars at opposition

Image credit

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

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

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