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Close approach of Mars and M22

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Appulses feed

Tags: Appulse
Objects: M22 Mars
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The sky at

Mars and M22 will make a close approach, passing within 0°20' of each other.

From Cambridge, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 17° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:22 (EDT) – 3 hours and 2 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 17° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:42.

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Mars will be at mag 1.1; and M22 will be at mag 5.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius.

They 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 M22 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
Mars 18h36m20s -23°34' Sagittarius 1.1 5"4
M22 18h36m20s -23°54' Sagittarius 5.2 24'00"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 61° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 28 February 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


5 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:53 11:31 17:09
Venus 07:59 14:39 21:20
Moon 08:57 15:34 22:10
Mars 03:19 07:49 12:19
Jupiter 03:59 08:36 13:13
Saturn 04:30 09:13 13:56
All times shown in EST.


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.

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