Mars Opposition – Part 4 – How is it Going?

At this time, Mars has passed its closest approach to Earth.  For practical purposes, it’s viewing size is still at the maximum.  So, for a few weeks, we can enjoy the best possible views of our neighbor.  Afterwards, we begin a 15-year period without a close encounter.

I have made several recent observations with my 10” reflecting telescope.  Because Mars is still experiencing a global dust storm, I could see some dark areas, but they were vaguely defined.  The southern polar ice cap, however, was visible.  Its white color makes a striking contrast to the rest of the planet.

I am enjoying naked-eye views of Mars almost as much telescopic views.  Around midnight, Mars is very bright and very red.  On several recent nights, I enjoyed this spectacle, although I didn’t have time to set up the telescope.

Keep looking up!



Here are some recent comments from observers:

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