The moon will swing by Mars early Wednesday morning as it continues its planetary tour

A graphic showing the moon and Mars close together in the night sky.
The crescent moon approaches mars in the predawn sky on Wednesday (June 22). (Image credit: Chris Vaughan)

Keep your eye on the eastern sky before dawn on Wednesday (June 22) to see the crescent moon approach Mars as it continues its tour of the morning planets. 

"The moon's pretty crescent will take up position a palm's width to the right of Mars' reddish dot." Writes Chris Vaughan, amateur astronomer with SkySafari Software who oversees's Night Sky calendar. "Bright Jupiter will shine off to their upper right (or celestial west)."

The pair will make for an interesting stargazing target as they will appear close enough to share the same field of view in a pair of binoculars. They will rise above the eastern horizon around 1:56 a.m. EDT (0556 GMT). Observers in the Southern Ocean region will also be able to see the moon occult Mars around 18:00 GMT according to Vaughan. 

Related: The brightest planets in June's night sky: How to see them (and when) 

The exact time of the event varies depending on your specific location, so you'll want to check out a skywatching app like SkySafari or software like Starry Night to confirm the local time to look up. Our picks for the best stargazing apps may help you with your planning.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and perhaps one of the most distinctive planets in the night sky due to its famous red hue. It gets its color from the oxidization, or rust, of iron-rich minerals in its regolith — the loose dust and rock covering its surface. 

Top telescope pick!

Celestron Astro Fi 102

(Image credit: Celestron)

Looking for a telescope for the next planet sight or skywatching event? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 as the top pick in our best beginner's telescope guide.

Hoping to capture a good photo of the moon as it approaches Mars? Our guide on how to photograph the moon has some helpful tips. If you're looking for a camera, here's our overview of the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. As always, our guides for the best telescopes and best binoculars can help you prepare for the next great skywatching event.

The moon and mars getting cosy isn't the only skywatching event to look out for this month. Throughout June, a rare "planet parade" will be visible in the predawn sky as all five naked-eye planets line up in their orbital order from the sun. From left to right in the southeastern sky, you'll be able to spot Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all in a row. (Mercury, usually hidden by the sun's glare, will become easier to spot as the month matures.)

The best opportunity to see this spectacle may come on June 24, as Mercury should rise about an hour before the sun, according to a press release from Sky&Telescope. 

Throughout June, the moon will continue to journey past the morning planets, embarking on a planetary "meet and greet." After Mars, the next stop on the tour is Venus on June 26 then finally Mercury on June 27. 

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Daisy Dobrijevic
Reference Editor

Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K., where she enjoyed communicating space science to the public. In 2021, Daisy completed a PhD in plant physiology and also holds a Master's in Environmental Science, she is currently based in Nottingham, U.K. Daisy is passionate about all things space, with a penchant for solar activity and space weather. She has a strong interest in astrotourism and loves nothing more than a good northern lights chase!