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 1°03' of each other. The Moon will be 8 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 17:57 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 72° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 18:31, 74° above your southern horizon. They will continue to be observable until around 01:20, when they sink below 8° above your north-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 -12.0; and Mars will be at mag 0.4. 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 05h08m00s +26°23' Taurus -12.0 29'56"0
Mars 05h08m50s +25°20' Taurus 0.4 8"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 99° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The sky on 27 February 2023
Sunrise
06:29
Sunset
17:41
Twilight ends
19:13
Twilight begins
04:57

7-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

62%

7 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:08 11:16 16:23
Venus 07:47 14:00 20:13
Moon 10:29 18:24 01:17
Mars 10:52 18:34 02:15
Jupiter 07:53 14:08 20:23
Saturn 06:16 11:32 16:49
All times shown in EST.

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.

Related news

08 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  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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