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 2°19' of each other. The Moon will be 19 days old.

From Fairfield, the pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 21:50, when they reach an altitude of 7° above your eastern horizon. They will then reach their highest point in the sky at 04:22, 70° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight around 06:30, 56° above your south-western horizon.

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The Moon will be at mag -12.3; and Mars will be at mag -0.3. Both objects will lie in the constellation Cancer.

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 08h31m10s +23°29' Cancer -12.3 30'48"5
Mars 08h28m10s +21°16' Cancer -0.3 10"7

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 114° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The sky on 20 November 2024
Sunrise
06:46
Sunset
16:30
Twilight ends
18:10
Twilight begins
05:10

19-day old moon
Waning Gibbous

65%

19 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 08:46 13:12 17:37
Venus 10:15 14:41 19:06
Moon 21:02 03:53 11:45
Mars 20:59 04:22 11:45
Jupiter 17:36 01:03 08:30
Saturn 13:18 18:50 00:22
All times shown in EST.

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

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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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