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Conjunction of Mars and Pluto

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mars and 134340 Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Mars passing 0°01' to the south of 134340 Pluto.

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

From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:53 (EST) – 2 hours and 57 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 18° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:12.

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Mars will be at mag 0.9, and 134340 Pluto at mag 14.8, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

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 134340 Pluto 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 19h47m10s -21°58' Sagittarius 0.9 6"1
134340 Pluto 19h47m10s -21°57' Sagittarius 14.8 0"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 68° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 23 March 2020
Sunrise
06:49
Sunset
19:07
Twilight ends
20:40
Twilight begins
05:16

29-day old moon
Waning Crescent

0%

29 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:52 11:17 16:42
Venus 08:30 15:50 23:09
Moon 06:58 12:37 18:17
Mars 03:53 08:34 13:14
Jupiter 03:43 08:26 13:09
Saturn 04:06 08:55 13:43
All times shown in EDT.

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

14 Jul 2019  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
15 Jul 2020  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
18 Jul 2021  –  134340 Pluto at opposition
20 Jul 2022  –  134340 Pluto at opposition

Image credit

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EST

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