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°49' of each other. The Moon will be 21 days old.

From Ashburn , the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 00:32, when they reach an altitude of 10° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 06:50, 73° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:56, 73° above your southern horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.0; and Mars will be at mag 0.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Gemini.

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 07h53m50s 25°54'N Gemini -12.0 30'43"7
Mars 07h50m10s 22°11'N Gemini 0.2 8"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 95° from the Sun, which is in Virgo at this time of year.

The sky on 23 Oct 2024

The sky on 23 October 2024
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

21-day old moon
Waning Crescent


21 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:43 13:47 18:52
Venus 10:34 15:17 20:01
Moon 22:28 06:27 14:20
Mars 23:29 06:50 14:10
Jupiter 20:59 04:20 11:41
Saturn 16:23 21:57 03:32
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.

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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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