Moon near Mars after sunset on August 18 and 19

See the moon close to Mars

The waxing crescent moon will cross by Mars on the nights of August 18 and 19, 2023. It’ll be closest to Mars on the night of August 18. At their closest, the moon will likely be 2 levels – the width of 4 full moons – aside.

Mars has a roughly two-year cycle of visibility in our sky. And, for a lot of that cycle, it’s faint and inconspicuous. However – for a interval of about six months, each couple of years – Mars brightens and seems fairly pink. It occurs across the time Earth passes between Mars and the solar. And that occurred in December 2022.

We handed between the solar and Mars on December 8, 2022, when Mars reached opposition. Now, we’re about as far-off from Mars as we will get, in our smaller, quicker orbit. As a matter of truth, proper now Mars is on the alternative aspect of the photo voltaic system from us. It’s 2.45 astronomical models (AU) from us and has light from its current opposition of magnitude -1.9 to its present magnitude +1.77. Whereas Mars continues to be brighter than most stars, it’ll stay faint till it begins to slowly brighten once more later subsequent 12 months.

Our charts are largely set for the northern half of Earth. So, to see a exact view out of your location, attempt Stellarium On-line.

Star chart: two positions of very thin crescent moon along green ecliptic line with Mars next to one of them.
Shortly after sundown on August 18, 2023, search for the very skinny waxing crescent moon close to Mars. It’ll be glowing with earthshine. On the next night, the marginally thicker crescent moon will likely be greater within the sky. Chart by way of John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

The waxing crescent moon

The very slender waxing crescent moon will likely be about two days outdated on August 18 and shining at magnitude -9.5. After which on August 19, a barely thicker crescent moon will likely be shining at magnitude -10.2.

One of many causes a younger, skinny crescent moon is so lovely is due to the glow on the unlit portion of the moon often called earthshine. That pale glow on the darkish aspect of a crescent moon is mild mirrored from Earth. Are you able to see that refined – however beautiful – glow?

Backside line: After sundown on the evenings of August 18 and 19, 2023, search for a skinny crescent moon close to the planet Mars.


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