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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 Seattle, the pair will be visible between 21:50 and 04:26. They will become accessible around 21:50, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will reach its highest point in the sky at 01:10, 20° above your southern horizon. They will become inaccessible around 04:26 when they sink below 7° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

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 04:58 12:01 19:04
Venus 05:17 12:48 20:20
Moon 20:42 00:44 05:43
Mars 20:44 01:11 05:32
Jupiter 13:32 20:10 02:51
Saturn 21:32 02:03 06:29
All times shown in PDT.


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

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