Moon Meets Mars
11 May 2014


 
This illustration shows the relative positions of the Moon, Mars and the bright star Spica, on the evening of 11 May 2014, as viewed in the Egyptian skies.

On 11 May 2014, the skies of Egypt feature a beautiful evening naked-eye astronomical phenomenon, a conjunction of the Moon and Mars, the Red Planet. When two or more celestial objects are visible close together in the sky, near the line of sight, they are said to be in conjunction. Conjunctions are among the most fascinating heavenly sights, particularly, when featuring the Moon and a bright planet, such as Venus or Jupiter.

To view the Moon-Mars conjunction, look toward southeast, at about 7:30 p.m. Mars will shine as a bright reddish star, about 5 degrees above the Moon. (Note: the apparent diameter of the Moon is 0.5 degrees.) Both the Moon and Mars will be visible among the stars of the zodiacal constellation Virgo.

The distance of the Moon from Earth will be about 384,000 km, while Mars will be approximately 103 million km away from Earth, or over 260 more distant than the Moon.

Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist
 
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