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 5°15' of each other. The Moon will be 23 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:37 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 57° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 05:57.

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The Moon will be at mag -11.4; and Mars will be at mag 0.8. Both objects will lie in the constellation Taurus.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope or pair of binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.

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 05h36m10s +28°25' Taurus -11.4 31'04"8
Mars 05h37m30s +23°10' Taurus 0.8 6"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 70° from the Sun, which is in Leo at this time of year.

The sky on 27 August 2024
Sunrise
06:13
Sunset
19:37
Twilight ends
21:13
Twilight begins
04:33

23-day old moon
Waning Crescent

28%

23 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:13 12:00 18:46
Venus 08:11 14:22 20:32
Moon 23:30 07:34 15:46
Mars 00:36 08:07 15:38
Jupiter 00:12 07:39 15:06
Saturn 20:08 01:45 07:23
All times shown in EDT.

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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