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OT: Approaching Mars (sky show)

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  • OT: Approaching Mars (sky show)

    Count slowly: one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand.... You're now 30 km closer to the planet Mars. Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter in April 2014, an event astronomers call "opposition." At closest approach on April 14th, burnt-orange Mars will rise in the east at sunset and soar overhead at midnight shining 8 times brighter than a 1st magnitude star. Even now the view is impressive:
    (Looks just like that to the naked eye! )

    Romanian astrophotographer Maximilian Teodorescu took the picture on March 14th using an 11-inch Celestron telescope. "The Red Planet has a lot to offer," he says. "With the opposition getting closer every day, details are becoming more easily discernible." Teodorescu's images show a bank of icy clouds covering Hellas Basin, the widest and deepest impact crater on Mars. Also visible is the North Polar Cap, which is rapidly evaporating as summer unfolds in Mars' northern hemisphere.
    Ready to see Mars for yourself? Tonight, March 18-19, the waning full Moon will pass by Mars in the constellation Virgo, making the Red Planet easy to locate. Point your optics at the bright burnt-orange "star" a few degrees above the lunar disk. Update: You're now about 600 km closer to Mars.

  • #2

    Fascinating stuff. Especially this one.
    Here we offer David Talbott's first glimpses of celestial dramas in ancient times. Just a few thousand years ago a gathering of planets hung as towering form...

    Also this
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