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Monday, January 18, 2010

Springtime on Mars (as seen from the Sabine hills)

Ian Sharp in Britain took this image at 0:54 UT January 4, 2010. The North Polar Cap is huge and obvious. The slightly bright region on the southern limb (top) is the dusty Hellas basin.
After months of looking at Jupiter, we now have a good view of Mars. On Saturday night we had a "Mars-rise" over Monte Calvo shortly after sunset. Mars is really bright now (explained below) and the distinctive red color really jumps out.

I didn't take the picture, but the shot above gives you a good idea of what I was looking at on Saturday night. The Northern polar cap was very apparent in my six inch Newtonian Dobsonian. It looked like it had a dark border around it. Martian North is at the bottom in this shot. It is Spring in the Northern hemisphere of Mars now.

Mars is now in a very good position for observation from Earth. On January 27, it will be in full opposition:

So hey, this is the time for those of you who are hoping to win the Elser-Mathes Trophy! Aim those Yagis and be sure to tune UP!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the image. Really inspired me to do some astronomy!


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