Mars Reaches Eastern Quadrature

orbital-positions   Monday December 3rd 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. Mars, with an apparent magnitude of 0.0, is about 2o from 8th magnitude Neptune.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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