2020, October 2-3: Moon, Mars Together

On the night of October 2-3, 2020, the moon appears near Mars.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Mars appears with the moon on two nights during October 2020, the night of October 2-3 and October 29.

On the evening of October 2-3, look for the moon about two hours after sunset in the eastern sky.  The bright moon is nearly 16 days past its new phase and 98% illuminated. 

Mars and Moon, October 2, 2020
2020, October 2: About two hours after sunset, look for bright Mars 1.7° to the upper left of the bright moon.

Planet is is the bright star that is 1.7° to the upper left of the lunar orb.

As the night unfolds, the pair seems to move westward as Earth rotates.  They appear in the southern sky about 2 a.m. CDT on October 3.  As the new day progresses, the pair is in the western sky.

Moon and Mars, October 3, 2020
2020, October 3: Farther west, the moon – over 26° in altitude in the west-southwest – is 2.8° to the upper left of Mars.

About an hour before sunrise, they are about one-third of the way up in the sky in the west-southwest.  At this time, the moon is 2.8° to the upper left of the Red Planet.

During the night, the moon moves slowly eastward as Mars  inches westward compared to its starfield.

Read more about the planets during October.

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