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

Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 at01:33 EDT(636 days ago)
05:33 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 4°52' of each other. The Moon will be 18 days old.

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible at around 23:20, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:21, 29° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 05:59, 19° above your south-western horizon.

The Moon will be at mag -12.4, and Mars at mag -1.3, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

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.

At around the same time, the two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 16h29m00s -16°42' Ophiuchus -12.4 29'41"8
Mars 16h26m10s -21°32' Ophiuchus -1.3 15"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 146° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 25 April 2016
Sunrise 06:17
Sunset 19:55
Twilight ends
21:34
Twilight begins
04:38

18-day old moon
Age of Moon
18 days

All times shown in EDT.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:55 14:12 21:29
Venus 05:56 12:25 18:55
Moon 23:13 03:27 08:34
Mars 22:28 03:21 08:09
Jupiter 15:23 21:52 04:25
Saturn 22:56 03:52 08:43

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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