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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 4°08' of each other. The Moon will be 19 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 01:03, when they rise to an altitude of 8° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:05, 30° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:44, 26° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.3; and Mars will be at mag -0.4. Both objects will lie in the constellation Scorpius.

They 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.

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 16h21m40s -16°21' Scorpius -12.3 29'44"2
Mars 16h19m10s -20°27' Scorpius -0.4 11"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 121° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 28 March 2016
Sunrise
07:00
Sunset
19:29
Twilight ends
21:00
Twilight begins
05:29

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

76%

19 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:16 13:34 19:52
Venus 06:24 12:10 17:55
Moon 23:32 04:44 09:56
Mars 00:12 05:05 09:58
Jupiter 17:26 23:52 06:22
Saturn 00:55 05:46 10:37
All times shown in EDT.

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

None available.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

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