|2018-January Mars ⬅︎|
| Mars is out all month in the morning hours before sunrise. Look S for its orange-red color. On the 7th it will pass Jupiter. (see above). Mars is getting brighter each night as it approaches opposition on July 27, 2018.
Mars is both easy and hard to view depending on its distance from earth.
Think of Earth and Mars as two runners on a circular track with Earth being on the inside track. Earth and Mars start together. Mars appears large, bright and colorful. It is visible all night. This is known as opposition because Mars is on one side and the sun is on the opposite side.
Earth, being closer to the sun and faster, pulls ahead. Eventually it reaches half a lap ahead of Mars and Mars now appears smaller, dimmer and paler. Eventually Earth catches up to Mars starting the cycle over. The entire cycle takes about twenty-two months.
Binoculars & Telescope
Even with a telescope, seeing features can be challenging. The best time is around opposition when it may be possible to view polar ice caps, giant volcanoes and tiny moons Phobos and Deimos. Warning: never use optical aid to view at dawn since the sun might rise while viewing and cause severe eye damage.
|Level: Easy||Visual Rating: |