Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

2016 Apr 25

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 4°52' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon. They will be visible in the morning sky. They will become accessible at around 00:22, when they rise 7° above your south-eastern horizon. They will then reach its highest point in the sky at 03:12, 16° above your southern horizon. They will be lost to dawn twilight at around 05:19, 11° above your south-western horizon.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -12.4, and Mars at mag -1.5, both in the constellation Ophiuchus.

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 16h29m00s -16°42' Ophiuchus -12.4 29'41"8
Mars 16h26m10s -21°32' Ophiuchus -1.5 15"2

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 146° from the Sun, which is in Aries at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of