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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 2°46' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.

From Washington, the pair will become visible around 21:12 (MST) as the dusk sky fades, 25° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 2 hours and 38 minutes after the Sun at 23:30.

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 -10.1, and Mars at mag 1.8, both in the constellation Cancer.

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 08h16m30s +23°55' Cancer -10.1 30'11"2
Mars 08h14m30s +21°11' Cancer 1.8 4"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 38° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 13 June 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:11 13:16 20:20
Venus 07:41 15:03 22:26
Moon 09:02 16:24 23:46
Mars 09:07 16:19 23:30
Jupiter 00:55 06:22 11:49
Saturn 23:56 05:08 10:15
All times shown in MDT.


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
07 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  Mars at opposition

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