Friday, July 27, 2018

Happy Mars Opposition Day!

This morning, I was determined to beat the next onslaught of clouds and rain.

I had all of the equipment outside and acclimated well before Mars was to cross its highest point in the sky.

The astronomy weather predictions were not good.

But, I was determined to catch an image of Mars today.  It is Opposition Day, after all.

This astronomy session turned into an exercise in perseverance.

This gorgeous image was taken with my cell phone camera.  It shows the conditions under which this week's Mars image, the Mars Opposition Image, was captured.

Pretty, but not optimum conditions for imaging,
Mars is indeed centered in the field of view.  It is in the clear patch of sky not illuminated by the almost full moon.

Each time Mars entered a clear patch of sky, I restarted the imager and captured as many frames as I could before Mars' light was once again obscured by Earth's clouds.

Here is the best image that I could capture under such conditions.  

Mars, July 27th 2018, 0452 UTC
Happy Mars Opposition Day, everyone!

Mars is still suffering from its planet encircling dust storm so I'll continue to keep an eye on it as Mars gets further away from us.  Maybe the dust will settle before Mars gets too far away from us to enjoy dust free views.

Here is what the Virtual Planet Atlas' Mars model shows for the date and time of this Mars observation session.

From the Virtual Planet Atlas

Next week?  

More images, of course.


  1. Wow, Truly amazing how you captured this great image!!! And I learned from the added detail map that Olympus Rubes is NOT A SMALL formation. but THIS MARS IMAGE IS GREAT!! Happy Mars Opposition, fellow stargazers!!

    1. Thanks, Marty! I really like how the Virtual Planet Atlas lets me dial in via date and time the face that I should expect to see when I'm peering at Mars. It works some other planets and moons, too!

  2. I can't believe you got any images at all with those clouds. Nice work!

    1. The clouds and moon were fun to watch while I was waiting for openings to the sky.


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