Monday, July 20, 2020

Mars, 2020 Opposition T-Minus 86 Days and Counting

Can you believe it?

The Mars opposition in 2020 is just 86 days away!  It seems like we had a Mars opposition just a little over two years ago, doesn't it?

I took advantage of the nice seeing conditions this morning and spent some time focused on Mars.

What did I expect to see?

The Virtual Planet Atlas, free software for planetary observation and study, has a really nice model of Mars.  One look at its graphics will tell you everything.

For Mars this morning, the model predicted this:

Mars, via the Virtual Planet Atlas

And this is what I captured:


Mars, 07/20/2020 at 0854 UTC

Mars is getting close enough that features in its terrain are starting to appear.  We could already see its southern polar ice cap, but soon we will be able see the tops of volcanoes, impact craters, valleys, and deserts.

Fingers crossed that we don't instead get blessed with a planetary-wide, global, feature obscuring, dust storm like the 2018 opposition.

 

2 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, I had forgotten about 2018's dust storm. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So .. when are we going to Mars!? :)

    ReplyDelete

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