The planets Mars and Neptune will make a close approach, passing within a mere 2.1 arcminutes of each other.
Mars will be at mag 1.1; and Neptune will be at mag 7.9. Both objects will lie in the constellation Pisces.
They will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible through a pair of binoculars.
A graph of the angular separation between Mars and Neptune 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 40° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.
|The sky on 29 April 2024|
21 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.
|19 Sep 2023||– Neptune at opposition|
|20 Sep 2024||– Neptune at opposition|
|23 Sep 2025||– Neptune at opposition|
|25 Sep 2026||– Neptune at opposition|
The Moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, with the Very Large Telescope in the foreground. Image © Y. Beletsky, ESO, 2009.