Mars and Jupiter at Odds – Heliocentric That Is

31oct-view-from-mars   Friday October 31st the planets Mars and Jupiter are aligned in an arrangement known as heliocentric opposition. The two planets are on opposite sides of the Sun and are approximately 180o apart in heliocentric longitude as measured around the celestial equator. Mars has a heliocentric longitude of approximately 310o, while Jupiter is at 130o. However the two planets are not necessarily at the same level (above or below) relative to the ecliptic. Mars, at 24.53o South Declination, is only a few days (26 October) past its maximum declination of 25o south of the celestial equator in Sagittarius. Jupiter, at 15o North declination in the constellation Leo the Lion is north of Mars by nearly 40o.

   
   
   
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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.

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