Your Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 4:48  
clear_day Transit: 12:56  
SunsetSet: 21:05 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now
Major Bodies » 


Mars is a terrestrial planet located fourth from the Sun in the Inner Solar System. It has a diameter of 6,779 kilometers and a mass of 6.39 x 10^23 kilograms, making it roughly half the size of Earth. Mars is a rocky planet with a thin atmosphere primarily composed of carbon dioxide, with trace amounts of nitrogen and argon. The planet's surface is characterized by volcanoes, canyons, and impact craters, including Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. Mars has a day length that is similar to Earth's, with a rotation period of 24.6 hours, and it orbits the Sun once every 687 Earth days. The planet has two small, irregularly shaped moons, Phobos and Deimos. Mars has been the subject of extensive exploration by spacecraft, including NASA's Viking missions in the 1970s and more recent rovers such as Curiosity and Perseverance. The search for evidence of past or present life on Mars remains an important goal of space exploration.

Mars is currently in the constellation of Cancer.

The current Right Ascension of Mars is 08h 38m 45s and the Declination is +19° 57’ 24” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Mars is 1.59 (JPL).

08h 38m 45s
+19° 57’ 24”

Today's rise, transit and set times of Mars from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 70.1°
Max altitude: 58.4°
Azimuth: 289.8°
  • Mars is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, Mars is visible to the naked eye, easy under dark skies, might be difficult from heavily light polluted areas.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

Mars Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Mars finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Finder chart of Mars in Cancer on June,02 2023
Map showing Mars in Cancer on June, 02 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of Mars
Map showing Mars in Cancer on June, 02 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Mars is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

RA: 08h 38m 45s
Dec: +19° 57’ 24”
Deep sky finder chart for Mars
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Mars?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Mars in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Mars Distance from Earth

The distance of Mars from Earth is currently 300,568,954 kilometers, equivalent to 2.009179 Astronomical Units. Light takes 16 minutes and 42.5901 seconds to travel from Mars and arrive to us.

16 minutes and 42.5901 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Mars from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of Mars from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of Mars from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Mars to Earth

Between 1 January 1600 and 30 December 2499, the closest approach of Mars to Earth happens on Mon Aug 29 2287 at a distance of 0.372254 Astronomical Units, or 55,688,458 kilometers:

Mon Aug 29 2287

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

Mars Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Mars, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of Mars as a function of time

Mars Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Mars. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 6779 km 0.5320
Mass 0.641693 x 1024 kg 0.1074
Density 3.934 gr/cm3 0.7135
Escape Velocity 5.03 km/s 0.4495
Sideral Rotation 24.6230 hours 1.0288
Absolute Magnitude -1.52
Geometric Albedo 0.15

Mars 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Mars computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Mars in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Apparent DiameterDiameter Constellation
2023 May 26 08h 21m 35s +21° 01’ 49” 1.56 4.8” Cancer
2023 May 27 08h 23m 58s +20° 53’ 16” 1.56 4.8” Cancer
2023 May 28 08h 26m 21s +20° 44’ 35” 1.56 4.7” Cancer
2023 May 29 08h 28m 45s +20° 35’ 47” 1.56 4.7” Cancer
2023 May 30 08h 31m 08s +20° 26’ 51” 1.56 4.7” Cancer
2023 May 31 08h 33m 30s +20° 17’ 47” 1.58 4.7” Cancer
2023 Jun 01 08h 35m 53s +20° 08’ 36” 1.60 4.7” Cancer
2023 Jun 02 08h 38m 17s +19° 59’ 18” 1.59 4.7” Cancer
2023 Jun 03 08h 40m 40s +19° 49’ 54” 1.59 4.6” Cancer
2023 Jun 04 08h 43m 01s +19° 40’ 20” 1.61 4.6” Cancer
2023 Jun 05 08h 45m 24s +19° 30’ 42” 1.63 4.6” Cancer
2023 Jun 06 08h 47m 47s +19° 20’ 54” 1.62 4.6” Cancer
2023 Jun 07 08h 50m 09s +19° 11’ 00” 1.61 4.6” Cancer
2023 Jun 08 08h 52m 32s +19° 01’ 00” 1.62 4.6” Cancer