A “close encounter” is set to happen between the Moon and Mars tonight (September 29) as they will just be just a little over 2 degrees apart. In India, this celestial event will be at its pinnacle at 8:34pm. The two celestial bodies will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing to the south of Mars. But the Moon and Mars will not be alone. Just nearby will be Venus, Earth’s closest planetary neighbour.

The Moon and Mars will be both in Sagittarius, a large southern constellation and one of the twelve members of the zodiac. If you are able to see low enough between buildings and trees, you will be able to see them hovering close to each other. You can also watch Venus. There will also be Mercury, albeit appearing very dim, and Saturn with all its brightness a little further to the left.

According to In The Sky the event will take place at 15:04 UTC (20:34 IST). However, the pair will be too widely separated to fit within a telescope’s field of view but they will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

A conjunction is a celestial event that occurs when two or more astronomical bodies share the same right ascension. In simple terms, any close groupings of celestial objects are usually called a conjunction. However, the precise term used for such groupings is an appulse, which may or may not also be a conjunction.

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