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 5°03' to the south of Mars. The Moon will be 8 days old.

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

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:16 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 61° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 18:05, 63° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 00:14, when they sink below 7° above your western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.9 in the constellation Cetus, and Mars at mag 0.2 in the neighbouring constellation of Aries.

The pair will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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 02h15m30s +09°47' Cetus -11.9 29'32"4
Mars 02h15m30s +14°50' Aries 0.2 8"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 93° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 21 January 2021
Sunrise
07:12
Sunset
16:56
Twilight ends
18:32
Twilight begins
05:36

8-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

53%

8 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:10 13:17 18:23
Venus 06:18 10:56 15:33
Moon 11:43 18:37 00:43
Mars 11:08 18:05 01:02
Jupiter 07:34 12:28 17:21
Saturn 07:24 12:15 17:05
All times shown in EST.

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

13 Nov 2020  –  Mars ends retrograde motion
12 Jul 2021  –  Mars at aphelion
20 Sep 2021  –  Mars at apogee
07 Oct 2021  –  Mars at solar conjunction

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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41.14°N
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