© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

Mars at apogee

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Mars
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Mars orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point from the Earth – its apogee – moving to a distance of 2.64 AU from us. Since the size and brightness of Mars in the night sky both decrease when it is far away from us, this marks the moment when it will appear smallest, measuring a mere 3.5 arcsec in diameter. However, in practice, it will be rather too close to the Sun for observation, at an angular separation of only 5.860936909828343° from it, as it will be close to solar conjunction.

A chart of the path of Mars across the sky in 2021 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The exact position of Mars at the moment it passes apogee will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 12h13m00s 0°34'S Virgo 1.7 3.5"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 20 September 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

13-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous


13 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:39 14:10 19:41
Venus 10:03 15:22 20:41
Moon 18:33 00:18 06:11
Mars 07:03 13:04 19:06
Jupiter 17:09 22:33 03:56
Saturn 16:18 21:29 02:40
All times shown in PDT.


Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.


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 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
30 Nov 2022  –  Mars at perigee
07 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee

Image credit

© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope



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