December 17, 2007

Mars Comes Closest to Earth Tomorrow

Mars will be at its closest point in it orbit to Earth tomorrow. Mars already is an extremely impressive object with its hue very easily distinguishable as red.

Courtesy of Sky & Telescope Observing Blog, we have this handy chart to help us plot Mars' position in the sky, though it's really a formality at this point since it is so easily visible. Look to the constellation Gemini, and it should be easily visible as it is by far the brightest object in that section of the sky.

On an astrophotography note, I've found that Mars is notoriously difficult, at least for me, to photograph. I seem to get lots of streaks, trails, and other problems. I will be getting my gear out shortly to see if I can get a good Mars shot as I add Taurus and Gemini to my constellation list.

Check out the post at Sky & Telescope for more detailed information on what telescope, filters, etc. will give you the best view of Mars.
Michele at the Earth and Weather blog has a great post on the subject as well. Enjoy it; Mars won't be back like this until 2016.