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 0°01' of each other. The Moon will be 18 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:11, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:55, 57° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:23, 44° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.3, and Mars at mag -1.9, both in the constellation Pisces.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also 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 01h49m10s +06°43' Pisces -12.3 29'26"7
Mars 01h49m10s +06°41' Pisces -1.9 19"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 135° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 06 September 2020
Sunrise
06:42
Sunset
19:31
Twilight ends
21:04
Twilight begins
05:09

18-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

85%

18 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:07 14:09 20:11
Venus 03:05 10:12 17:19
Moon 22:01 04:01 10:26
Mars 21:27 03:55 10:20
Jupiter 16:34 21:18 02:06
Saturn 17:03 21:53 02:46
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

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

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme