None available.

Mars at perihelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Mars
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
The sky at

Mars's 687-day orbit around the Sun will carry it to its closest point to the Sun – its perihelion – at a distance of 1.38 AU.

Unlike most of the planets, which follow almost exactly circular orbits around the Sun which only vary in their distance from the Sun by a few percent, Mars has a significantly elliptical orbit. Its distance from the Sun varies between 1.38 AU and 1.67 AU – a variation of over 20% – meaning that it receives 31% less heat and light from the Sun at aphelion as compared to perihelion.

Finding Mars

Mars's distance from the Sun doesn't affect its appearance. From Ashburn, at the moment of perihelion it will not be observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and will be 2° below the horizon at dawn.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

A chart of the path of Mars across the sky in 2026 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The exact position of Mars at the moment it passes perihelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 23h18m30s -05°36' Aquarius 1.2 4.1"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 26 March 2026
Sunrise
07:03
Sunset
19:26
Twilight ends
20:57
Twilight begins
05:33

7-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

55%

7 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:04 11:40 17:16
Venus 07:54 14:27 20:59
Moon 12:55 20:30 03:15
Mars 06:29 12:14 17:59
Jupiter 12:35 19:59 03:26
Saturn 07:12 13:14 19:16
All times shown in EDT.

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 DE405 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

26 Mar 2026  –  Mars at perihelion
19 Feb 2027  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  Mars at perigee
04 Mar 2027  –  Mars at aphelion

Image credit

None available.

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme