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

Close approach of Venus and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

Venus and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 0°12' of each other.

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 be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:12 (EDT) – 1 hour and 58 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 18° above the eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:52.

Venus will be at mag -3.9, and Mars at mag 1.8, both in the constellation Leo.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

At around the same time, the two objects will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

A graph of the angular separation between Venus and Mars around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Venus 11h21m30s +05°38' Leo -3.9 11"0
Mars 11h21m10s +05°26' Leo 1.8 3"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 23° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 05 October 2017
Sunrise
07:08
Sunset
18:45
Twilight ends
20:14
Twilight begins
05:40

15-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

99%

15 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:56 12:50 18:45
Venus 05:11 11:33 17:54
Moon 19:12 00:34 06:31
Mars 05:12 11:33 17:53
Jupiter 08:29 13:59 19:29
Saturn 12:51 17:37 22:23
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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

22 May 2016, 07:10 EDT  –  Mars at opposition
27 Jul 2018, 01:07 EDT  –  Mars at opposition
13 Oct 2020, 19:19 EDT  –  Mars at opposition
08 Dec 2022, 00:35 EST  –  Mars at opposition

Image credit

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

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme