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

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 1°46' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From San Diego , the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:00 (PDT) and reaching an altitude of 56° above the southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 05:26.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

The Moon will be at mag -12.0; and Mars will be at mag -0.7. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cetus.

They 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 pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 00h36m50s 1°39'S Cetus -12.0 29'35"2
Mars 00h33m50s 0°02'S Cetus -0.7 12"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 101° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 11 Jul 2020

The sky on 11 July 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

20-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


20 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:56 11:50 18:43
Venus 03:13 10:03 16:52
Moon 23:51 05:50 11:55
Mars 00:00 06:02 12:05
Jupiter 20:03 01:06 06:09
Saturn 20:27 01:34 06:41
All times shown in PDT.


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.

Related news

27 Aug 2018  –  Mars ends retrograde motion
23 Aug 2020  –  Mars 2020: a great chance to see the red planet
09 Sep 2020  –  Mars enters retrograde motion
06 Oct 2020  –  Mars at perigee

Image credit

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


San Diego



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