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Mars at opposition

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 10:20 am
by Aratus
At the moment Mars is a fine sight blazing away in the south east at midnight. It is starting to move over to the south now fairly rapidly, and rising a little higher by midnight, and getting even brighter. It is still very low down, but anyone wanting to see a fair sized disk, and hopefully some detail will have to observe it in the next couple of weeks. It will get smaller again just as rapidly as June progresses.

It is a shame that the weather has taken a turn for the worst. :(

Re: Mars at opposition

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:50 pm
by Gfamily2
Aratus wrote:At the moment Mars is a fine sight blazing away in the south east at midnight. It is starting to move over to the south now fairly rapidly, and rising a little higher by midnight, and getting even brighter. It is still very low down, but anyone wanting to see a fair sized disk, and hopefully some detail will have to observe it in the next couple of weeks. It will get smaller again just as rapidly as June progresses.

It is a shame that the weather has taken a turn for the worst. :(


Yes, it's worth having a look at if you can; though it is very low this year. I had a look at it on Saturday evening, but there were really no obvious features with it being so low - maybe I could have spent some longer time to try to get my 'eye' in, but I suspect seeing would have been too poor anyway.

The main reason for getting the scope out was to get a first look at Saturn for a long while. Also, very low, but with the rings at a favourable inclination a real treat.

We'll be taking the 'little' scope to Spain with us in a week or so, the lower latitude will help to make it more visible,

Re: Mars at opposition

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 2:48 pm
by Aratus
Observing Mars from a lower latitude will make all the differences. It will more than make up for using a smaller telescope. If I'm being honest my past experience with these 'closest oppositions' has not been good. It was too low down in July 2001 and never rose above the houses from my location. In August 2003 I never saw any details through my 6" reflector at the time. A pulsating orange blob! To what extent the advent of CCDs and computer stacking will help is yet to be seen. My best observing of Mars was in November 2005 when Mars was much higher in the sky, albeit not so large.

Re: Mars at opposition

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:39 pm
by Aratus
Just to mention that the more interesting side of Mars is becoming visible for midnight viewers. In the last week or so the 'boring' featureless side of Mars has been facing us. The martain day is only slightly longer than our own so it takes a while for the features to change. In particular, the dark, squarish, Niliacus Lacus is beginning to appear in the south.

Re: Mars at opposition

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:51 am
by Gfamily2
Thanks for the heads-up on that one.

There's a web app on the Sky and Telescope website that shows you what's visible on mars for any time.

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... -visible/#

Re: Mars at opposition

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:39 am
by dixita
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