Saturday, April 21, 2018

First Post!


Why did I register the domain name ""

In astronomy, objects aren't always visible in the night sky. But, during the period of weeks or months when we can see an object, it is said that we are having an apparition of the object.

We are having an apparition of Mars. 

In fact, the planet Mars is getting closer and closer to us.  This happens cyclically. 

Its closest approach to us happens just about every 26 months.  Some approaches of Mars are closer than others.  

It turns out that the 2018 apparition of Mars will be one of the most favorable since the 2003 apparition when it came closest to Earth in 59,635 years (the year 57,617 B.C.)

The closest approach for Mars in 2018 will take place on July 31, just four days after its July 27 opposition - when Mars and the Sun are to be on opposite sides of the Earth.

I was outside in the wee hours of this morning taking a peek at Mars with the telescope.  Mars is close enough to us that features are starting to be visible.  I put the imager on the 'scope and captured some images.

While waiting for some of the image captures to finish, I thought to myself, "I ought to start a blog of my Mars photos..."

In my sleep deprived state, I clearly thought, "Mars needs photos."

Rational thoughts did not appear to return even after the "post astronomy" nap.  

When I set up this blog, Google asked if I would like to associate it with a particular domain and presented me with a list.  ""  was available.  

How could I resist?

Well, besides being sort of a reference to the classic movie, "Mars Needs Women," it is the general theme to my blog.

Mars needs photos.

There may be other astronomy related photos interspersed, but really, Mars needs photos.

First post.  First photo.  This image of Mars was captured through my telescope in my backyard around 0430 on April 21st, 2018.

More to come.



  1. This is pretty darn cool, Charles! Congrats on your new blog and have fun with it!

  2. I wonder if my favorite living author will stumble upon this blog one day and think to himself, ‘so cool’. (Andy Weir, of course). On a more personal note, I am glad my best friend has a place to share his magnificent astronomy and astrophotography talents. All That aside I am totally tickled that Mars is so beautifully presented in our Southern Sky this year.

    1. Thanks, Marty! I'm going to have a lot of fun capturing images of Mars as it approaches opposition and posting about them.

  3. I am hopeful. The longing to explore and conquer or perhaps adapt, is a strong instinct for humans. There must be a reason for this.

    1. As a child of the Apollo era, I am disappointed that we don't have moon bases and we haven't started colonizing other planets by now.

      If SpaceX were to call and tell me that my application for Mars astronaut training had been accepted, I'd have a hard time saying "No." ;-)

  4. Congrats on your new blog. Looking forward to more commentaries and photos.

  5. Your article has piqued a lot of positive interest. I can see why since you have done such a good job of making it interesting. why is mars red

    1. Well, thanks for the comment. 😎 The article is interesting after a fashion, but it is not mine.


Featured Post

More HyperStar Fun

Yes, more HyperStar fun! Thursday night, we finally had clear dark night. It was worthy of putting the HyperStar on the Cat. It was worthy o...

Popular Posts