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°43' to the south of Mars. The Moon will be 16 days old.

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

From Washington, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 20:42, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 02:23, 58° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 07:16, 17° above your western horizon.

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 -12.5, and Mars at mag -2.5, 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 01h34m40s +05°17' 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 02 October 2020
Sunrise
07:30
Sunset
19:15
Twilight ends
20:42
Twilight begins
06:04

15-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

98%

15 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 09:43 14:55 20:08
Venus 04:14 10:54 17:34
Moon 20:08 01:48 07:53
Mars 19:58 02:24 08:46
Jupiter 15:14 20:03 00:56
Saturn 15:40 20:34 01:32
All times shown in MDT.

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

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

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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37.13°N
113.51°W
MDT

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