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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.
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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!

    ReplyDelete

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