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Conjunction of Mars and Ceres

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mars and 1 Ceres will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 2°56' to the north of 1 Ceres.

From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 17° above the horizon. They will become visible around 20:08 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 17° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 28 minutes after the Sun at 21:48.

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

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
Mars 03h27m00s +19°19' Taurus 1.5 4"0
1 Ceres 03h27m00s +16°23' Taurus 9.0 0"0

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 13 April 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


16 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:16 13:18 20:20
Venus 04:42 10:56 17:11
Moon 21:53 02:16 07:35
Mars 07:25 14:43 22:01
Jupiter 18:36 00:24 06:08
Saturn 00:29 05:06 09:43
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.

Related news

21 Oct 2016  –  1 Ceres at opposition
31 Jan 2018  –  1 Ceres at opposition
24 Apr 2018  –  1 Ceres at perihelion
29 May 2019  –  1 Ceres at opposition

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