Science

Look at the conjunction of the Moon and Mars tonight (September 16)

Tonight (September 16) Mars and the Moon will approach each other in the sky, and here’s what you can expect to see.

The waning bulging moon will pass just three degrees north of the Red Planet. This close encounter or conjunction occurs at 9:43 pm EDT (01:43 GMT September 17), when the two objects have the same right ascension, according to In-the-Sky.org.

The pair will be visible to viewers in the northeast at approximately 11:34 pm EDT (03:34 GMT September 17) when they reach an altitude of seven degrees above the eastern horizon. The Moon and Mars will remain visible in the morning sky.

Related: Night Sky September 2022: What You Can See Tonight [maps]

The Moon and Mars will reach their highest point of 70 degrees above the southern horizon at 06:06 AM EDT on September 17 (10:06 GMT). (A clenched fist at arm’s length corresponds to about ten degrees.) They will be briefly visible until dawn around 6:18 AM EST (1018 GMT) and the soft glow of the rising sun will outshine the pair.

The Moon is currently shining at a magnitude of -12.0 and Mars is shining at a magnitude of -0.4. (The brighter the object, the smaller the magnitude.) Despite their close approach, the pair will be too far apart to fit into the telescope’s field of view. However, they will be visible to the naked eye or through binoculars.

Both Mars and the Moon are visible in the constellation Taurus. After their close encounter, the pair will separate as the night progresses.

The close approach of Mars and the Moon is also known as a push. Given the Moon’s orbit around the Earth, this astronomical alignment tends to repeat itself on a monthly basis, as each month the Moon passes the same planets in the same phase.

You can check out our guides to the best binoculars and best telescopes to see the Moon and Mars in the night sky. If you’re hoping to get a good shot of the couple, check out our guide to photographing the moon, as well as our recommendations for the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography.

Editor’s Note: If you’ve taken a photo of the moon near Mars and would like to share it with Space.com readers, please send your photos, comments, name, and location to spacephotos@.

Follow Samantha Mathewson on Twitter @Sam_Ashley13 (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab)or on facebook (will open in a new tab).

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