Mars Apparition - Opposition 2016 MAY 22

A plotting of the planet in equatorial coordinates of current date during 2017 JAN 07 to JUL 16 - See article below.

Mars Declination - 2012-2027

A plotting of the declinations of the planet at oppositions from 2012 to 2027

Mars Angular Diameter - 2017

Graph of equatorial angular diameter of Mars measured in arcseconds - Distance in AU = 9.36 / angular diameter

Mars, Earth & Sun at Oppositions - 2003-2018

Diagram demonstrating the relative positions of Mars, Earth and Sun at oppositions from 2003 to 2018

Mars Appearing as Big as a Full Moon!!! - 2010 AUG 27

Diagram demonstrating how Mars would appear as big as a Full Moon on 2010 AUG 27 AS THE SPAMMERS WANTED YOU TO BELIEVE! (LOL)

Mars 01 Mars 02 Mars 03 Mars 04 Mars 05

                              2015-17 APPARITION OF MARS

Reddish Mars appears in the western sky after sunset before setting later in the evening.

   Opposition from the Sun occurred during the night of 2016 MAY 21-22 when Mars was out all night. At that time Mars was in the constellation Scorpius at a declination of 21.7° south of the celestial equator. Its north pole was tilted by 10.5° toward Earth. Greatest brilliance for this apparition was expected around MAY 22 at magnitude -2.1. Closest approach to Earth of 0.5032 AU occurred on MAY 30 when Mars subtended an angular diameter of 18.6 arcseconds.

  Apparent direct motion in right ascension resumed on 2016 JUN 30. Eastern quadrature was reached on SEP 13 before conjunction behind the Sun on 2017 JUL 26.

   Mars will appear near other bright planets and stars on the following dates: Mercury JUN 28.

   The Moon will appear near Mars on 2017 JUN 24. There will be no more lunar occulatations of Mars during this apparition.

NOTE: Event dates in this article are for North American Central Time.

*  A meridian transit occurs when a celestial body crosses an observer’s local north-south line in the sky. That is practically simultaneous with culmination, i.e. the highest altitude for the day. The Mars meridian transit times in the above linked graph can be easily transformed for your location. The given times are nearly the same for the central meridians of all time zones, i.e. those evenly divisible by 15° such as 75°, 90°, 105° or 120°. Do not adjust to UT. Simply add to the chart time 4 minutes for each degree west of a central meridian, or subtract 4 minutes for each degree to the east. If on daylight savings time, add an hour.

Mars Stellar Magnitude - 2017

Graph of the brightness of Mars measured in stellar magnitude

Mars 06 Mars 07

Mars Illumination Phase - 2017

Graph of the percentage of Mars’ apparent disk illuminated

Mars 08

Mars Meridian Transit Time* - 2017

Graph of the times that the planet Mars transits the prime meridian

Mars Apparent Axial Tilt Graph - 2017

Graph of the tilt of Mars’ rotational axis as viewed from Earth Negative if south pole tilted toward Earth

Mars 09

© Curt Renz


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