Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

2016 Jan 3

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 1°25' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 02:51, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 07:04, 28° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 07:41, 28° above your southern horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -11.5, and Mars at mag 0.8, both in the constellation Virgo.

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.

The precise positions of the Moon and Mars at the moment of closest approach will be as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
The Moon 13h55m00s -08°39' Virgo -11.5 29'37"5
Mars 13h53m20s -10°01' Virgo 0.8 5"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 72° from the Sun, which is in Sagittarius at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of