Saturday 19 July at 6 UT (1 CDT) the position of the planet Mars, with respect to the Earth and the Sun, places this planet at what is called eastern quadrature. At that orbital position Mars, and actually any outer planet, is at a 90 degree angle from the Earth as this graphic shows, and the banner graphic at the top of the page shows. Think first quarter Moon as that is a fair comparison of the relative positions of Earth, Sun, and Mars. At this position Mars follows the Sun across the sky from east to west as the Earth is rotating, meaning that Mars rises after the Sun and then sets after the Sun.
This is a short video clip about Mars from a much longer video that I made as part of a live musical performance called “Orbit” at the Gottleib Planetarium in Kansas City Missouri during May 2011.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.