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

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 3°35' of each other. The Moon will be 20 days old.

From Fairfield , the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 22:15, when they reach an altitude of 8° above your north-eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 04:54, 71° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:42, 60° above your south-western horizon.

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 -12.2; and Mars will be at mag -0.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.

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.

At around the same time, the pair 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 pair at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 05h30m30s 26°40'N Taurus -12.2 29'46"7
Mars 05h32m30s 23°05'N Taurus -0.9 13"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 117° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 14 Oct 2022

The sky on 14 October 2022
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


19 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:37 11:40 17:43
Venus 06:50 12:31 18:12
Moon 20:20 04:08 12:05
Mars 21:22 04:53 12:24
Jupiter 17:25 23:24 05:24
Saturn 15:40 20:43 01:46
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.

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30 Nov 2022  –  Mars at perigee
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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