The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Venus and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Venus and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 5°23' of each other.

From Seattle, the pair will become visible around 17:30 (PDT) as the dusk sky fades, 36° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 21:39.

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

Venus will be at mag -4.6; and Mars will be at mag 1.1. Both objects will lie in the constellation Pisces.

They 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 Venus 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
Venus 23h52m30s +01°20' Pisces -4.6 31"4
Mars 00h14m00s +01°08' Pisces 1.1 5"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 45° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 02 February 2017
Sunrise
07:34
Sunset
17:12
Twilight ends
18:57
Twilight begins
05:48

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

31%

5 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:40 10:58 15:16
Venus 09:00 15:11 21:21
Moon 10:38 17:12 23:46
Mars 09:23 15:32 21:41
Jupiter 23:11 04:45 10:15
Saturn 04:35 08:54 13:13
All times shown in PST.

Source

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.

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

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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