Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed
Jupiter and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 0°12' of each other.
From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:58 (EDT) – 4 hours and 33 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 33° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 07:11.
Jupiter will be at mag -1.9, and Mars at mag 1.4, both in the constellation Libra.
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.
A graph of the angular separation between Jupiter 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|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 58° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.
|The sky on 06 January 2018|
19 days old
All times shown in EST.
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.
|07 Apr 2017||– Jupiter at opposition|
|08 May 2018||– Jupiter at opposition|
|10 Jun 2019||– Jupiter at opposition|
|14 Jul 2020||– Jupiter at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.