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Conjunction of the Moon and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 1°56' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 9 days old.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 18:15 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 23° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:03, 28° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 23:57, when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.1, and Mars at mag -0.9, both in the constellation Capricornus.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

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 Moon 21h08m00s -17°35' Capricornus -12.1 29'34"2
Mars 21h08m00s -19°32' Capricornus -0.9 13"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 109° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 18 October 2018
Sunrise
07:00
Sunset
17:58
Twilight ends
19:32
Twilight begins
05:27

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

66%

9 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:38 13:36 18:35
Venus 08:24 13:06 17:49
Moon 15:25 20:26 00:30
Mars 15:16 20:04 00:54
Jupiter 09:36 14:29 19:22
Saturn 12:39 17:12 21:46
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

16 Sep 2018  –  Mars at perihelion
25 Aug 2019  –  Mars at aphelion
28 Aug 2019  –  Mars at apogee
02 Sep 2019  –  Mars at solar conjunction

Image credit

None available.

Cambridge

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

42.38°N
71.11°W
EDT

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