Photos of the moon’s sweep past bright Mars

Earth will pass between Mars and the sun in October 2020, and the distance between our 2 worlds is now relatively small. And so Mars is very bright now! Thanks to all in the EarthSky Community who captured Mars near the moon this past weekend.

To view more photos from our community, visit EarthSky Community Photos.

Small orange-red dot next to slice of the moon with craters and gray blotches.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Helio C. Vital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, captured the moon and Mars after midnight on September 6, 2020. He wrote: “From Rio de Janeiro, the moon passed nearly in front of Mars (a “grazing” occultation). Mars was 178 times further away and 6,378 dimmer than the moon. The 19-minute grazing occultation could be seen from Rio around midnight on September 6. Nikon CoolPix P900 camera was used with no telescope attached.” Thank you, Helio!

Mars about to be occulted by the moon - small dot just at edge of gibbous moon, with labels.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jose Luis Ruiz in Almeria, Spain, captured the moon and Mars close together before midnight on September 5, 2020. He wrote: “Just today, I was able to photograph the occultation of Mars by the moon from Almería. In the absence of just over 5 minutes, a band of clouds covered the moon and Mars. Then clouds and clearings.” Thank you, Jose Luis!

The edge of the bright moon appearing above a ridgeline, with reddish dot of Mars above.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Eliot Herman wrote: “Moon and Mars clearing the ridgeline in Tucson, Arizona. The close conjunction of the moon and bright near-opposition Mars was a striking sight. The terminator of the moon shows the terrain picking up light on the craters and mountains leading to the observed discontinuities [the jagged appearance of the upper edge of the moon].” Thank you, Eliot!

Moon and Mars rising above a ridgeline, with a glorious display of northern lights in the background.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Abigail Atienza wrote: “I just want to share a photo of the waning gibbous moon and the red planet Mars (on the right) with the northern lights in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. September 6, 2020, 9:20 p.m. Road to Nowhere.” Thank you, Abigail!

Line of images of waning gibbous moon each with a dot, Mars, next to it.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | John Merriam in St Augustine, Florida, captured multiple images of the moon and Mars after midnight on September 6. In these images, Mars is a dot to the left of the moon. John wrote: “Moon and Mars within about 1 degree of one another … This is about a 30-minutes time lapse.” Thank you, John.

Moon and Mars peeking through clouds above an old European style building, perhaps a church.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jürgen Graf in Vienna, Austria, captured this shot in late evening on September 5, 2020, and wrote: “Had troubles capturing the moon and Mars because of the clouds, but managed to get this dramatic shot.” Thank you, Jürgen.

Telescopic image of the waning gibbous moon and very tiny dot of Mars.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Niko Powe in Kewanee, Illinois, captured the moon and Mars on September 6. Here, Mars appears reddish (it’s very reddish in the sky now) and in about the 11 o’clock position with respect to the moon. Niko wrote: “Rising and appeared very close to each other. Commanded that you take a 2nd look! I had to get a shot! Have a blessed day EarthSky Community!” Thank you, Niko!

Moon and tiny dot of Mars over glittering New York City nighttime skyline.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Alexander Krivenyshev of the website WorldTimeZone.com wrote: “Appulse (very close conjunction) of the moon and Mars over New York City.” See the moon and Mars in the upper left of the image? Thank you, Alexander.

Telescopic image of very detailed waning gibbous moon with tiny reddish dot above it.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Nancy Ricigliano captured the pair just after midnight on September 6, from Long Island, New York. In this image, Mars is in the 12 o’clock position with respect to the moon. Nancy wrote: “Went in my yard this evening (this morning) to capture Mars close to the moon. It was a perfect night for it.” Thank you, Nancy!

Telescopic image of detailed waning gibbous moon and tiny, faintly reddish dot to its left.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | John Van Allen was in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, when he caught the moon and Mars on September 6. Here, Mars is in the 9 o’clock position with respect to the moon. He wrote: “Dodging between clouds, but finally got it.” Thanks, John!

The glowing moon and Mars above buildings along a street in Singapore.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Kannan A in Singapore captured the moon and Mars around 6:30 a.m. on September 5, 2020. He wrote: “The waning gibbous moon and planet Mars seen in the morning, descending towards the northwest of Singapore.” Thank you, Kannan A.

Bottom line: Photos of the close sweep of the moon past the red planet Mars on September 5 and 6, 2020. Thanks to all who contributed to EarthSky Community Photos!

Deborah Byrd