The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 1°28' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.
From Ashburn, the pair will become visible around 20:35 (EST), 36° above your western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 43 minutes after the Sun at 23:59.
The Moon will be at mag -10.6; and Mars will be at mag 1.7. Both objects will lie in the constellation Gemini.
They 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.
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 48° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.
|The sky on 16 May 2021|
5 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.
|13 Oct 2020||– Mars at opposition|
|30 Nov 2022||– Mars at perigee|
|08 Dec 2022||– Mars at opposition|
|12 Jan 2025||– Mars at perigee|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.