Mars at Opposition

mars-opposition-2014-ani   Tuesday 8 April the planet Mars reaches a point in its orbit around the Sun called opposition. This is an arrangement of Mars, Earth, and the Sun that places the three in a pattern with the Earth in between Mars and the Sun. Think full Moon and that is a good mental picture of Mars, or any of the outer planets, at opposition.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

Click on graphic to see it full size.

   At opposition, like with a full Moon, Mars will rise at approximately local sunset time and Mars will set at local sunrise time – visible above the horizon all night.
Finding Mars is fairly easy especially if you follow the ‘old’ mnemonic “Follow the arc to Arcturus, then speed to Spica.”

   This is a short 3-minute video I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” that was performed at the Gottleib Planetarium in Kansas City Missouri in May 2011. This is a piece from the much longer tour of the solar system performance and video and shows a fly-by of Mars.

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.

1 thought on “Mars at Opposition

  1. Pingback: Mars Closest to Earth-This Time Around | Bob's Spaces

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