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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
SunriseRise: 6:55  
clear_day Transit: 12:11  
SunsetSet: 17:29
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now?
Major Bodies » 

Mars

Altitude: 13.3°   Azimuth: 146.6°   Direction: South-South-East

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 Capricornus, at a distance of 333,257,524 kilometers from Earth.

Finder chart of Mars in Capricornus on February,25 2024
Map showing Mars in Capricornus on February, 25 2024. Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View interactive star map
The current Right Ascension of Mars is 20h 46m 47s and the Declination is -19° 00’ 19” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Mars is 1.26 (JPL).

20h 46m 47s
-19° 00’ 19”
Capricornus
1.26

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: 109.0°
Max altitude: 19.5°
Azimuth: 251.0°
  • Mars is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Right now it is placed in the South-South-East direction at an altitude of 13° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, Mars is visible to the naked eye, easy and bright under dark skies, might be more 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.

Additional Resources

Mars Position and Finder Charts

Finder chart of Mars
Map showing Mars in Capricornus on February, 25 2024
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.

Mars
RA: 20h 46m 47s
Dec: -19° 00’ 19”
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 333,257,524 kilometers, equivalent to 2.227689 Astronomical Units. Light takes 18 minutes and 31.6274 seconds to travel from Mars and arrive to us.

333,257,524
2.227689
18 minutes and 31.6274 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
55,688,458
0.372254

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
2024 Feb 18 20h 23m 26s -20° 21’ 42” 1.30 4.1” Capricornus
2024 Feb 19 20h 26m 38s -20° 11’ 17” 1.31 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 20 20h 29m 49s -20° 00’ 38” 1.31 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 21 20h 33m 01s -19° 49’ 46” 1.30 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 22 20h 36m 11s -19° 38’ 43” 1.28 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 23 20h 39m 23s -19° 27’ 25” 1.28 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 24 20h 42m 33s -19° 15’ 56” 1.26 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 25 20h 45m 42s -19° 04’ 15” 1.26 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 26 20h 48m 51s -18° 52’ 23” 1.25 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 27 20h 52m 01s -18° 40’ 17” 1.22 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 28 20h 55m 09s -18° 28’ 00” 1.24 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Feb 29 20h 58m 18s -18° 15’ 32” 1.22 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Mar 01 21h 01m 27s -18° 02’ 50” 1.21 4.2” Capricornus
2024 Mar 02 21h 04m 35s -17° 49’ 59” 1.21 4.2” Capricornus