The planets Mars and Uranus will make a close approach, passing within a mere 34.2 arcminutes of each other.
From Ashburn, the pair will become visible around 18:41 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 32° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 35 minutes after the Sun at 21:34.
Mars will be at mag 1.3; and Uranus will be at mag 5.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Pisces.
They will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Mars and Uranus 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 43° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 26 February 2017|
29 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.
|15 Oct 2016||– Uranus at opposition|
|14 Apr 2017||– Uranus at solar conjunction|
|19 Oct 2017||– Uranus at opposition|
|18 Apr 2018||– Uranus at solar conjunction|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.