sraM drawkcaB A

The 2014 MaRetrograde Motion

The 2014 Mars Retrograde Motion

   The ‘Red Planet’ Mars begins its retrograde Motion today. Retrograde motion is the apparent backward, or westward motion that a planet will appear to make at a regular point in its revolution around the Sun. We typically think of retrograde motion as being done by an outer planet from the Earth. This happens when the faster orbiting Earth catches up and passes by an outer planet. As this is happening the outer planet appears to slow down and then reverse its orbital direction toward the west. After a period of time (days to months) the outer planet again appears to slow down and then return to its regular eastward, or direct motion.
An inner planet orbit

An Inner Planet Orbit

   However the two inner planets Mercury and Venus also undergo retrograde motion. Approximately one-half of their respective orbits is eastward as is with all the other planets. This then brings the inner planets to what is know as eastern elongation in the evening skies. The other half of the orbit for Mercury and Venus is toward the west as they move from eastern elongation through inferior conjunction toward western elongation in the morning skies.

Coordinate Positions for Mars

 Date             RA	    Dec
  		 h  m  	  deg  m          
Feb  4		13 32	  -6 54
Feb 14		13 40	  -7 34
Feb 24  	13 45 	  -7 55
Mar  6  	13 45 	  -7 53
Mar 16  	13 41 	  -7 27
Mar 26  	13 32 	  -6 39
Apr  5  	13 19 	  -5 35
Apr 15  	13 04 	  -4 26
Apr 25  	12 51 	  -3 27
May  5  	12 40 	  -2 50
May 15  	12 35 	  -2 43
May 25  	12 34 	  -3 05
Jun 4  		12 38 	  -3 53
Jun 14  	12 46 	  -5 02
Jun 24  	12 57 	  -6 29

Caution: Objects viewed with an optical aid are further than they appear.
   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

2 thoughts on “sraM drawkcaB A

  1. Pingback: Jupiter Pulls A Reversal | Bob's Spaces

  2. Pingback: Mars Ends Retrograde Motion | Bob's Spaces

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