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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 0°39' of each other. The Moon will be 16 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 19:57, when they rise to an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:39, 54° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:32, 16° above your western horizon.

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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.

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 01h35m50s +05°24' Pisces -12.5 29'24"1
Mars 01h34m40s +06°00' Pisces -2.5 22"5

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
Sunrise
06:52
Sunset
18:31
Twilight ends
20:03
Twilight begins
05:20

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

98%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:10 14:14 19:17
Venus 03:29 10:14 16:59
Moon 19:44 01:43 08:04
Mars 19:10 01:39 08:03
Jupiter 14:41 19:19 23:57
Saturn 15:06 19:50 00:37
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

03 Aug 2020  –  Mars at perihelion
06 Oct 2020  –  Mars at perigee
13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jul 2021  –  Mars at aphelion

Image credit

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

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