Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed
The Moon and Mars will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 5°20' to the south of Mars. The Moon will be 2 days old.
From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 10° above the horizon. They will become visible around 20:30 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 10° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 32 minutes after the Sun at 21:40.
The Moon will be at mag -8.8, and Mars at mag 1.7, both in the constellation Taurus.
The pair 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 the Moon and Mars 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 18° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.
|The sky on 26 May 2017|
1 day old
All times shown in EDT.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
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.
|22 May 2016||– Mars at opposition|
|27 Jul 2018||– Mars at opposition|
|13 Oct 2020||– Mars at opposition|
|08 Dec 2022||– Mars at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.