The planets Mercury and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 13.1 arcminutes of each other.
From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 10° above the horizon. They will become visible around 21:03 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 10° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 44 minutes after the Sun at 22:10.
Mercury will be at mag 0.1; and Mars will be at mag 1.8. Both objects will lie in the constellation Gemini.
They 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.
A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and Mars around the time of closest approach is available here.
The positions of the pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 24° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.
|The sky on 18 June 2019|
15 days old
All times shown in EDT.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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.
|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|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.