Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

2016 Mar 28

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 4°08' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 01:56, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 04:55, 18° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 06:23, 15° above your southern horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.3, and Mars at mag -0.8, both in the constellation Scorpius.

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 16h21m40s -16°21' Scorpius -12.3 29'44"2
Mars 16h19m10s -20°27' Scorpius -0.8 11"4

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 121° from the Sun, which is in Pisces at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of