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

Conjunction of Mercury and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and Mars will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 0°14' to the north of Mars.

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

From Fairfield however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 10° above the horizon at dusk.

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Mercury will be at mag 0.1, and Mars at mag 1.8, both in the constellation Gemini.

The pair 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 two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mercury 07h32m30s +23°09' Gemini 0.1 7"3
Mars 07h32m30s +22°55' Gemini 1.8 3"7

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
Sunrise
05:18
Sunset
20:30
Twilight ends
22:38
Twilight begins
03:10

15-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

96%

15 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:08 14:39 22:11
Venus 04:26 11:50 19:13
Moon 20:53 01:39 06:23
Mars 07:09 14:39 22:09
Jupiter 19:40 00:19 04:59
Saturn 21:47 02:29 07:11
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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.

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06 Oct 2020  –  Mars at perigee
13 Oct 2020  –  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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