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See Mars meet the last-quarter moon in the predawn sky Friday

Look southeast before sunrise on Friday (May 15) to see a conjunction of the moon and Mars. The pair will be in the constellation Aquarius. Jupiter and Saturn will also be visible to the south, with Saturn in the constellation Capricornus and Jupiter in Sagittarius.  (Image credit: SkySafari)

Mars (opens in new tab) and the moon will meet up in the early morning sky on Friday (May 15). If you're up at least an hour before sunrise, you can spot the pair huddled together just above the southeast horizon. 

The last-quarter moon will be in conjunction with the Red Planet, meaning they will share the same celestial longitude, tonight (May 14) at 10:02 p.m. EDT (0202 GMT on May 15). At that time, the moon will be 2.75 degrees to the south of Mars. (For reference, 10 degrees is about as wide as your fist held at arm's length.) 

The moment of their closest approach comes nearly two hours later, at 11:52 p.m. EDT (0352 GMT), when they'll be separated by only 2.58 degrees, according to In-The-Sky.org (opens in new tab). Mars and the moon won't rise until a few hours after the conjunction, but they'll still be pretty close together once they pop over the horizon. 

Related: Moon phases (opens in new tab)

Related: The brightest planets in May's night sky: How to see them (opens in new tab)

For skywatchers in New York City, Mars will rise at 2:18 a.m. local time, and the moon (opens in new tab) will rise 22 minutes later. The sun will rise at 5:38 a.m. local time, so that gives you nearly two hours to see Mars with the moon before the planet fades into daylight. 

To find out when the sun, moon and planets rise and set from your location, check out the handy night sky calculator at timeanddate.com (opens in new tab)

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Hanneke Weitering
Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.