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Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 2°32' of each other. The Moon will be 22 days old.

From Cambridge, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:08 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 33° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 04:46.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.8, and Mars at mag -0.2, both in the constellation Aquarius.

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.

At around the same time, the two objects will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

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 closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 23h32m30s -08°38' Aquarius -11.8 29'41"6
Mars 23h28m40s -06°17' Aquarius -0.2 10"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 91° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 12 June 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

21-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


21 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:42 14:16 21:50
Venus 04:23 11:45 19:07
Moon 01:03 06:22 11:41
Mars 01:07 06:46 12:26
Jupiter 22:26 03:10 07:51
Saturn 22:43 03:32 08:17
All times shown in EDT.


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

27 Jul 2018  –  Mars at opposition
13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
08 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition

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