Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mars approaching the Moon

Each month, the Moon is coming a little closer to Mars. Last month they came within about two degrees of each other. This is how they looked a little over 24 hours ago, about 3/4 of a degree apart:

In fact they were close enough to photograph together in the telescope, at about 36x magnification:

On January 8, Mars and the Moon will be separated by no more than 1/3 of the Moon's width (or about 1/6 of a degree), shortly past noon in New York, just after the Moon rises. Mars will not be visible to the naked eye, but I hope to try to capture the two bodies thru the scope.

A final note for perspective. It's relatively rare for two planetary bodies -- except a planet and its own satellites -- to come so close that you can see them at once in a telescope. In fact the only other such photo I have is this one at 180x magnification, from June 26, when Mercury and Venus were just 1/5 of a degree apart (Venus is the larger one):


Blogger beche-la-mer said...

Hi Kevin,
Check out my new photo of Venus taken at my mum's place in the country (not so much light pollution) on Monday night.

December 20, 2005 11:09 PM  

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