The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 13.9 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.
The Moon will be at mag -11.1; and Mars will be at mag 0.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aquarius.
They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 58° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 03 January 2017|
5 days old
All times shown in EST.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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.
|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|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.