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 0°45' to the south of Mars. The Moon will be 20 days old.

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

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 23:28, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 05:05, 53° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:36, 52° above your southern horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.1, and Mars at mag -1.3, both in the constellation Pisces.

The pair will be a little too widely separated to fit comfortably 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 01h24m50s +03°52' Pisces -12.1 29'31"0
Mars 01h24m50s +04°37' Pisces -1.3 15"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 115° from the Sun, which is in Cancer at this time of year.

The sky on 09 August 2020
Sunrise
05:56
Sunset
20:00
Twilight ends
21:47
Twilight begins
04:09

20-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

71%

20 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:10 12:25 19:40
Venus 02:29 09:46 17:03
Moon 23:14 05:07 11:24
Mars 22:43 05:06 11:25
Jupiter 18:21 23:00 03:43
Saturn 18:49 23:33 04:23
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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

03 Aug 2020  –  Mars at perihelion
23 Aug 2020  –  Mars 2020: a great chance to see the red planet
06 Oct 2020  –  Mars at perigee
13 Oct 2020  –  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.

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