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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 2°52' of each other. The Moon will be 6 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will become visible around 16:30 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 31° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 21:14.

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 -11.3 in Aquarius; and Mars will be at mag 0.7 in Capricornus.

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 21h25m30s -13°32' Aquarius -11.3 30'42"0
Mars 21h28m10s -16°20' Capricornus 0.7 6"3

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 66° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 05 December 2016
Sunrise
06:58
Sunset
16:12
Twilight ends
17:52
Twilight begins
05:18

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

29%

6 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:42 13:01 17:21
Venus 10:13 14:46 19:19
Moon 11:18 16:36 21:54
Mars 11:13 16:14 21:16
Jupiter 02:10 07:52 13:34
Saturn 07:15 11:54 16:33
All times shown in EST.

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

29 Oct 2016  –  Mars at perihelion
26 Jul 2017  –  Mars at solar conjunction
05 Aug 2017  –  Mars at apogee
07 Oct 2017  –  Mars at aphelion

Image credit

None available.

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EST

Color scheme