Conjunction between the Moon and Mars

2017 Nov 15

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 3°00' of each other.

From London (click to change), the pair will be visible in the dawn sky. They will rise at 03:37 (BST), 3 hours and 40 minutes before the Sun, and attain an altitude of 25° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 06:52.

At the moment of closest approach, the Moon will be at mag -10.2, and Mars at mag 1.5, 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 12h59m00s -01°51' Virgo -10.2 30'26"0
Mars 12h55m00s -04°41' Virgo 1.5 4"0

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0. The pair will be at an angular separation of 38° from the Sun, which is in Libra at this time of year.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of