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 Neptune

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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Ashburn
The sky at

Mars and Neptune will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 0°02' to the north of Neptune.

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

From Ashburn (click to change), the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible at around 17:16 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 42° above your southern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 18:03, 43° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 22:45, when they sink to 10° above your western horizon.

Mars will be at mag 0.1, and Neptune at mag 7.9, both in the constellation Aquarius.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mars and Neptune 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 23h00m30s -07°21' Aquarius 0.1 8"8
Neptune 23h00m30s -07°23' Aquarius 7.9 2"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 88° from the Sun, which is in Ophiuchus at this time of year.

The sky on 07 December 2018
Sunrise
07:14
Sunset
16:46
Twilight ends
18:21
Twilight begins
05:38

30-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

0%

30 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:39 10:46 15:52
Venus 03:40 09:09 14:38
Moon 07:26 12:21 17:17
Mars 12:25 18:04 23:43
Jupiter 06:30 11:22 16:14
Saturn 08:55 13:40 18:24
All times shown in EST.

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 Sep 2018, 14:13 EDT  –  Neptune at opposition
10 Sep 2019, 03:10 EDT  –  Neptune at opposition
11 Sep 2020, 16:12 EDT  –  Neptune at opposition
14 Sep 2021, 05:07 EDT  –  Neptune 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
EDT

Color scheme