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

Close approach of the Moon, Mars and Uranus

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon, Mars and Uranus will make a close approach, passing within 4°07' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Ashburn, the trio will become visible around 18:19 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 36° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 31 minutes after the Sun at 21:33.

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 -10.6; Mars will be at mag 1.3; and Uranus will be at mag 5.9. The trio will lie in the constellation Pisces.

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 trio 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 trio at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 01h33m20s +05°22' Pisces -10.6 32'17"6
Mars 01h28m20s +09°17' Pisces 1.3 4"5
Uranus 01h21m50s +08°00' Pisces 5.9 3"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The trio will be at an angular separation of 42° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 01 March 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:41 12:08 17:34
Venus 07:29 14:08 20:48
Moon 08:43 15:01 21:20
Mars 08:26 15:00 21:33
Jupiter 21:13 02:57 08:37
Saturn 02:31 07:18 12:04
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.

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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