Close approach of the Moon and Mars

Tuesday 9th Apr 201907:51

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 4°35′ of each other. The Moon will be 4 days old.

From London, the pair will become visible at around 20:05 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 36° above your western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 4 hours and 35 minutes after the Sun at 00:17.

The Moon will be at mag -10.7, and Mars at mag 1.5, both in the constellation Taurus.

The pair 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 two objects 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 two objects at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 04h19m10s +17°45′ Taurus -10.7 31’02″1
Mars 04h14m40s +22°13′ Taurus 1.5 4″4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 47° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

This entry in the observing calendar was provided by