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
From the Appulses feed

Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 4°27' of each other. The Moon will be 11 days old.

From Ashburn, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:07 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 30° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 20:47, 56° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 02:29, when they sink below 8° 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 -12.4 in the constellation Cetus, and Mars at mag -1.3 in the neighbouring constellation of Pisces.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit 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 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 01h06m20s +01°56' Cetus -12.4 29'27"6
Mars 00h58m50s +05°59' Pisces -1.3 15"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 131° from the Sun, which is in Scorpius at this time of year.

The sky on 25 November 2020
Sunrise
07:03
Sunset
16:48
Twilight ends
18:22
Twilight begins
05:29

10-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

83%

10 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:54 11:01 16:08
Venus 04:37 10:02 15:27
Moon 14:48 20:57 02:10
Mars 14:24 20:47 03:12
Jupiter 10:48 15:36 20:24
Saturn 10:57 15:48 20:39
All times shown in EST.

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

13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
08 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  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