The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.

Close approach of Venus and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The planets Venus and Mars will make a close approach, passing within a mere 28.1 arcminutes of each other.

From Ashburn however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 6° above the horizon at dusk.

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Venus will be at mag -3.9; and Mars will be at mag 1.8. Both objects will lie in the constellation Leo.

They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

At around the same time, the pair will also share the same right ascension – called a conjunction.

A graph of the angular separation between Venus 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
Venus 09h29m50s 16°31'N Leo -3.9 11"7
Mars 09h29m10s 16°05'N Leo 1.8 3"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 28° from the Sun, which is in Gemini at this time of year.

The sky on 13 Jul 2021

The sky on 13 July 2021
Sunrise
05:52
Sunset
20:36
Twilight ends
22:30
Twilight begins
03:57

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

16%

3 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:32 11:53 19:13
Venus 08:14 15:12 22:11
Moon 09:15 16:21 23:17
Mars 08:14 15:11 22:09
Jupiter 22:35 03:58 09:21
Saturn 21:38 02:40 07:42
All times shown in EDT.

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.

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08 Dec 2022  –  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.

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Ashburn

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39.04°N
77.49°W
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