Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
Mars and 1 Ceres will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 2°58' to the north of 1 Ceres.
From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will become visible at around 20:26 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 18° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 26 minutes after the Sun at 22:07.
Mars will be at mag 1.5, and 1 Ceres at mag 9.0, both in the constellation Taurus.
The pair will be too widely separated to fit 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 1 Ceres 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 30° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.
|The sky on 12 April 2017|
15 days old
All times shown in EDT.
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.
|21 Oct 2016, 00:15 EDT||– 1 Ceres at opposition|
|31 Jan 2018, 11:33 EST||– 1 Ceres at opposition|
|21 Apr 2018, 20:19 EDT||– 1 Ceres at perihelion|
|28 May 2019, 20:39 EDT||– 1 Ceres at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.