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

Conjunction of Mars and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mars and 134340 Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 1°25' to the south of 134340 Pluto.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:38 (EDT) – 4 hours and 42 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 28° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:54.

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Mars will be at mag -0.3, and 134340 Pluto at mag 14.7, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 134340 Pluto 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 19h30m40s -22°55' Sagittarius -0.3 10"5
134340 Pluto 19h30m40s -21°30' Sagittarius 14.7 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 104° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The sky on 25 April 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


9 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:24 11:31 17:38
Venus 07:34 14:50 22:05
Moon 15:38 22:09 04:02
Mars 01:42 06:25 11:08
Jupiter 20:55 02:08 07:15
Saturn 00:48 05:34 10:20
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

10 Jul 2017  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
12 Jul 2018  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
14 Jul 2019  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
15 Jul 2020  –  134340 Pluto 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.




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