Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Mars near Opposition
Posted on 04/11/2014 9:44:30 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Tonight Mars is between opposition (April 8) and closest approach (April 14) looping through the constellation Virgo opposite the Sun in the night sky. That makes it prime season for telescopic views of the the Red Planet, like this one from April 3rd. The clear, sharp image was captured with a high-speed digital camera and 16-inch diameter telescope from Assis, Brazil, Planet Earth. Mars' north polar cap is at the top left. Also visible are whitish orographic clouds - water vapor clouds condensing in the cold atmosphere above the peaks of Mars' towering volcanos. The exact dates of closest approach and opposition are slightly different because of the planet's elliptical orbit. Still, get your telescope out on the night of closest approach (April 14/15) and you can view both Mars and a total eclipse of the Moon. Mars will be about 1/100th the angular size of the Moon.
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[Credit & Copyright: Fabio Carvalho and Gabriela Carvalho]
You know the world’s screwed up when even Mars is opposed.
The Angry Red Planet
Interesting synchronicity with the “Blood Moon” eclipse occurring at this opposition
(At least this time around, I haven’t seen a slew of emails that “Mars is at its Closest Approach in Forever!” which I’ve seen nearly every year since the early 2000’s ;)
Hey, opposition to Mars has been building for a couple of years. /rimshot
Yeah, that was pretty comical, and still is when it comes up. About ten years ago the claim was that Mars was closer than any time in the last 40 million years. It’s obvious that someone putting out something that specific is getting their jollies out of it, or is a nutbar.
Beautiful, like a gorgeous glowing gemstone. I’d like to have it set in a ring.
Reminds me of an old story by James Thurber, “Many Moons,” in which the kingdom is turned upside down because the princess wants the moon. Knights ride off to their death if they cannot bring it back.
Finally, someone asks the princess, “How big is the moon?” And she answers, “As big as my thumbnail when I hold it up to the sky.”
Sooooo I’d like Mars, if you please.:)
Looks like a marble I used to have, and may still have in all the junk I’ve been toting around for fifty years. [giggles]
It is interesting that clouds form over the Martian volcanoes.