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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Ashburn
The sky at

The Moon and Mars will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 2°56' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 6 days old.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Ashburn, the pair will become visible at around 17:03 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 34° above your southern horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 5 hours and 3 minutes after the Sun at 21:46.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.4, and Mars at mag 0.7, both in the constellation Capricornus.

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.

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 21h28m20s -13°22' Capricornus -11.4 30'43"2
Mars 21h28m20s -16°19' 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
07:13
Sunset
16:46
Twilight ends
18:21
Twilight begins
05:37

6-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

30%

6 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:54 13:26 17:57
Venus 10:28 15:10 19:53
Moon 11:38 17:01 22:25
Mars 11:30 16:39 21:47
Jupiter 02:32 08:16 14:01
Saturn 07:30 12:18 17:07
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

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
08 Dec 2022, 00:35 EST  –  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
EDT

Color scheme