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

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 3°31' to the north of Mars. The Moon will be 27 days old.

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

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 04:42 (MDT) – 3 hours and 3 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 25° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 07:26.

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The Moon will be at mag -10.4, and Mars at mag 1.6, both in the constellation Libra.

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 15h19m20s -14°20' Libra -10.4 31'53"2
Mars 15h19m20s -17°52' Libra 1.6 4"1

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 39° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The sky on 22 December 2019
Sunrise
07:43
Sunset
17:19
Twilight ends
18:53
Twilight begins
06:09

26-day old moon
Waning Crescent

11%

26 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:58 11:45 16:32
Venus 09:57 14:52 19:46
Moon 04:03 09:28 14:53
Mars 04:41 09:48 14:55
Jupiter 08:01 12:48 17:35
Saturn 09:03 13:56 18:48
All times shown in MST.

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

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.

Washington

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

Color scheme