Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

2016 Feb 29

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 3°31' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 01:53, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 05:09, 20° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 06:26, 18° above your southern horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.0, and Mars at mag -0.1, both in the constellation Libra.

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 15h45m50s -14°54' Libra -12.0 29'45"3
Mars 15h43m10s -18°22' Libra -0.1 8"6

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 102° from the Sun, which is in Aquarius at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of