Mars And The Moon Will Align This Friday. Here’s When And Where You Can See Them Rise Together


So far this summer has been all about super-bright Jupiter and, just 8º away, ringed planet Saturn, which have been dominating the southwestern night sky after dark.

This weekend it’s the turn of Mars, as the waning Moon passes close to the red planet. Three spacecraft are on their way to Mars right now, and it’s also a great time to admire it.

Mars is now creeping towards opposition in October, the point in its orbit when it’s closest to Earth, so as big and bright as it gets. It’s already getting visibly bigger and brighter with every passing night.

MORE FROM FORBESWhy The ‘King Of The Planets’ Will Shine Super-Brightly From Dusk Till Dawn This Week

Recommended For You

Mars is rising earlier each evening, and this weekend is now in the sky before midnight, with a 65% illuminated waning gibbous Moon in tow.

Stargazers call this event—when two celestial bodies appear to pass close to each other—a conjunction.

How to see Mars and the Moon in conjunction on Friday, August 7, 2020

Look to the east around midnight on Friday going into Saturday and you’ll easily find a waning gibbous Moon.

Only those in North America will see the closest conjunction, at around 4:00 a.m. EDT on the morning of Saturday, August 8.

You could even try to catch the Moon at moonrise—the most beautiful time to observe our satellite—by consulting this Moon calculator to get times for your exact location.

In doing so you’ll also witness a “Mars-rise.”

Just 0.8º north of the Moon will be Mars, shining at magnitude -1.3. That’s significantly brighter than any stars, so Mars will be obvious.

MORE FROM FORBESNASA’s Hubble Just Sent Back A Stunning New Photo Of Saturn’s Rings At Their Brightest And Best

The conjunction of two of the night sky’s top sights isn’t that rare, but there are few more pleasing celestial sights to unaided naked eyes than a bright Moon passing a bright, red planet.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

Articles You May Like

Episode 238: Facebook faces up to criticism, Climate Week conversation
Blue Origin considers entering commercial space station business
Pandemic exacerbates NASA cybersecurity challenges
From Butts To Bricks, This Is The Plan To Recycle Cigarettes Into Construction Materials
Space Force, DoD agencies, NRO try to get on the same page on future acquisitions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *