See Mars shine very close to the crescent moon in the pre-dawn sky Saturday. Here's where to look.

Mars and Venus will shine close to the crescent moon 45 minutes before sunrise on Jan. 29, 2022. Look to the southeast on the horizon to see them, weather permitting. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

There's a cool "close encounter" of worlds happening right against the horizon at sunrise Saturday (Jan. 29).

Provided you can see low enough between buildings and trees, you can spot the moon and Mars hovering close to each other in the sky, a little over two degrees apart.

They won't be alone in this close celestial encounter in the predawn sky; just a little bit to your left will be Venus, and if you want an observing challenge (and are equipped with binoculars) you may also spot (dim) Mercury and (bright) Saturn a little further to the left.

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

But you'll have to act quickly to see the worlds so close together: in New York City, Mars and the moon will be visible at 5:01 a.m. EST and disappear from view in the brightening sky at 6:48 a.m. EST, according to

See the moon passing by the planets?

If you take a photograph of the moon, Mars or Venus let us know! You can send images and comments in to

Conjunctions happen in our sky thanks to the sun, moon and planets sharing a path across the sky known as the ecliptic, otherwise called the plane of our solar system. Several times a year, you get to see various worlds lining up in the sky. Sometimes they even eclipse each other, which will happen next in May during the "blood moon" lunar eclipse, as the moon passes into Earth's shadow.

Happily, most of the worlds visible in the sky should be visible with the naked eye this weekend: Mars at roughly magnitude 1.5, Venus at an incredible -4.3, and somewhat dimmer Saturn at magnitude 0.7. The moon, of course, will be quite easy to spot. For perspective, typical eyes can view up to magnitude 6.0 in dark-sky conditions.

The Hubble Space Telescope captured this crystal-clear view of Mars and its two moons Phobos and Deimos.  (Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI)

Make sure to go out before sunrise, at least 20 minutes earlier if you can, to let your eyes adjust to the sky. Shield yourself as best as possible from any stray lights nearby. If you must consult a star chart or your phone, use a red filter to preserve your night vision. Skywatchers in chillier regions will also need to bundle up for predawn observing.

More ambitious astronomers can bring out binoculars or a telescope to observe the conjunctions, although Mars and the moon will be too far apart to fit into a single telescope view.

If you're looking for binoculars or a telescope to see planets in the night sky, check our our guide for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now. If you need equipment, consider our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography to make sure you're ready for the next planet sight.

If you miss this conjunction, NASA says not to fear: more are coming soon. "Mars will continue to brighten and climb higher over the next few months, where it'll have super-close conjunctions with Saturn and Jupiter," the agency said.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: