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 3°53' of each other.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 05:08 (EDT) – 1 hour and 55 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 14° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:47.

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Venus will be at mag -4.4; and Mars will be at mag 1.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Capricornus.

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 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 20h41m40s -15°39' Capricornus -4.4 25"8
Mars 20h38m50s -19°29' Capricornus 1.2 4"9

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 46° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The sky on 15 March 2022
Sunrise
07:03
Sunset
18:59
Twilight ends
20:31
Twilight begins
05:31

13-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

96%

13 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:41 12:07 17:34
Venus 04:55 10:02 15:08
Moon 16:10 23:31 06:42
Mars 05:10 10:01 14:52
Jupiter 06:52 12:34 18:16
Saturn 05:46 10:52 15:59
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
12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee

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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