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

Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 0°57' of each other. The Moon will be 9 days old.

From Seattle, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 16:54 (PDT) as the dusk sky fades, 24° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 18:39, 29° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 22:48, when they sink below 8° above your south-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -11.9, and Mars at mag -0.3, both in the constellation Aquarius.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but will 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 the Moon 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 Moon 22h11m30s -13°59' Aquarius -11.9 29'39"0
Mars 22h10m20s -13°04' Aquarius -0.3 10"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 96° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 15 November 2018
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

8-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


8 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:11 13:15 17:19
Venus 04:46 10:00 15:14
Moon 13:38 18:35 23:32
Mars 13:34 18:39 23:43
Jupiter 07:56 12:27 16:58
Saturn 10:40 14:55 19:10
All times shown in PST.


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

26 Jul 2018  –  Mars at opposition
13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
07 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
15 Jan 2025  –  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.




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