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°39' of each other. The Moon will be 5 days old.

From San Diego , the pair will become visible at around 20:30 (PDT), 41° above your western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 23:58.

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 -11.0; and Mars will be at mag 1.5. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cancer.

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 08h22m20s 24°46'N Cancer -11.0 29'35"7
Mars 08h18m40s 21°11'N Cancer 1.5 4"8

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 59° from the Sun, which is in Taurus at this time of year.

The sky on 24 May 2023

The sky on 24 May 2023
Sunrise
05:42
Sunset
19:46
Twilight ends
21:23
Twilight begins
04:04

5-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

28%

5 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:39 11:11 17:43
Venus 08:46 15:59 23:11
Moon 09:46 17:11 00:30
Mars 09:57 16:58 23:58
Jupiter 04:07 10:39 17:10
Saturn 01:40 07:15 12:51
All times shown in PDT.

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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15 Jan 2025  –  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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San Diego

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

32.72°N
117.16°W
PDT

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