The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 1°55' of each other. The Moon will be 3 days old.
From Fairfield, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 9° above the horizon. They will become visible around 20:06 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 9° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 1 hour and 9 minutes after the Sun at 20:59.
The Moon will be at mag -9.5; and Mars will be at mag 1.8. Both objects will lie in the constellation Virgo.
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 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 coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 29° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.
|The sky on 18 August 2023|
2 days old
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.
|08 Dec 2022||– Mars at opposition|
|12 Jan 2025||– Mars at perigee|
|15 Jan 2025||– Mars at opposition|
|19 Feb 2027||– Mars at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.