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

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 6°01' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 15 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible between 20:58 and 04:27. They will become accessible at around 20:58, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon, and then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:45, 26° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible at around 04:27 when they sink to 8° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.5 in the constellation Libra, and Mars at mag -2.1 in the neighbouring constellation of Scorpius.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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 15h57m40s -15°35' Libra -12.5 29'39"1
Mars 15h57m40s -21°37' Scorpius -2.1 18"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 175° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 21 May 2016
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

15-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


15 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:43 11:36 18:28
Venus 05:07 12:22 19:38
Moon 19:56 00:12 05:23
Mars 20:01 00:46 05:24
Jupiter 13:12 19:44 02:20
Saturn 20:50 01:38 06:21
All times shown in EDT.


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  –  Mars at opposition
22 May 2016  –  Mars at opposition
27 Jul 2018  –  Mars at opposition
13 Oct 2020  –  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.




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