The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 39.6 arcminutes of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.
From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 20:14, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 01:56, 56° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:49, 17° above your western horizon.
The Moon will be at mag -12.5; and Mars will be at mag -2.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Pisces.
They 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 165° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.
|The sky on 03 October 2020|
16 days old
All times shown in EDT.
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.
|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|
|12 Jul 2021||– Mars at aphelion|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.