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

Close approach of Jupiter and Mars

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 at19:23 EST(12 days ago)
00:23 UTC

Dominic Ford, Editor
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Ashburn
The sky at

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

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:58 (EST) – 4 hours and 33 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 33° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at 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.

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 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
Jupiter 15h02m00s -16°05' Libra -1.9 32"8
Mars 15h01m50s -16°16' Libra 1.4 4"9

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
Sunrise 07:28
Sunset 17:01
Twilight ends
18:36
Twilight begins
05:52

19-day old moon
Age of Moon
19 days

All times shown in EST.
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:52 10:39 15:25
Venus 07:30 12:12 16:54
Moon 22:45 04:12 10:43
Mars 02:57 08:06 13:15
Jupiter 02:58 08:07 13:16
Saturn 06:28 11:13 15:57

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

07 Apr 2017, 17:28 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
08 May 2018, 20:28 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
10 Jun 2019, 11:17 EDT  –  Jupiter at opposition
14 Jul 2020, 03:48 EDT  –  Jupiter 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
EST

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