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Since the first of this past March the ‘red planet’ (love saying that!!) Mars has been moving in retrograde near the star Spica in Virgo. Retrograde, or retrograde motion
, is an apparent reversal of an outer planet or dwarf planet’s regular orbital motion eastward around the Sun – as viewed from Earth. On Wednesday 21 May Mars ends its retrograde motion and resumes its regular or direct motion (eastward). Mars is also recently past opposition in April and so it is still near its maximum apparent magnitude (brightness) of -0.75. Nearby, for comparison, is the 3rd magnitude star Porrima.
Read more about the retrograde motion of Mars in a previous blog
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.