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

Conjunction of Mercury and Mars

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Conjunctions feed

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The sky at

Mercury and Mars will share the same right ascension, with Mercury passing 0°14' to the north of Mars.

At around the same time, the two objects will also make a close approach, technically called an appulse.

From Fairfield however, the pair will not be observable – they will reach their highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 4° above the horizon at dawn.

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Mercury will be at mag -0.2, and Mars at mag 1.3, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

A graph of the angular separation between Mercury and Mars around the time of closest approach is available here.

The positions of the two objects at the moment of conjunction will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mercury 19h14m00s -22°54' Sagittarius -0.2 5"4
Mars 19h14m00s -23°08' Sagittarius 1.3 4"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 19° from the Sun, which is in Capricornus at this time of year.

The sky on 27 January 2024
Sunrise
07:08
Sunset
17:04
Twilight ends
18:40
Twilight begins
05:32

16-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

94%

16 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:05 10:42 15:19
Venus 05:10 09:49 14:28
Moon 17:53 01:19 08:28
Mars 06:06 10:42 15:18
Jupiter 10:57 17:46 00:35
Saturn 08:38 14:02 19:26
All times shown in EST.

Warning

Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.

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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