November 24, 2017

Astro-Event: The Rise of Mars & Opposition of 2012.

Mars during the 2003 opposition, nearly twice as large as this years!

(Photo by Author).

After a wintertime drought of evening planets, March and the beginning of northern hemisphere spring sees the return of the classical naked eye-planets to the PM skies, not the least of which is Mars. Currently rising low in the east at sunset in the constellation Leo, Mars reaches opposition this weekend on March 3rd at 20:00UT/15:00EST at a distance of 0.6741 Astronomical Units (A.U.s) or 62,661,510 miles from Earth. [Read more...]

AstroEvent: The Moon Makes a Pass at Mars.

Mars + Moon as seen from North America 5PM EDT on the 27th. (Created by Author in Starry night).

As July 2011 comes to an end, has the great August “Mars Hoax” viral email finally died a deserved death? Spawned during the close 2003 opposition of the Red Planet, this email has been a favorite of chain-mailing coworkers & the bane of science skeptics as friends and family members worldwide perpetuate the Woo every summer… usually, we’ve fielded multiple inquires as to how to see Mars as “Big as a Full Moon!!!” [Read more...]

June 2011: Life in the Astro-Blogosphere.

Awaiting darkness… (Photo by Author).

June is “hump month” here at Astroguyz HQ, as we approach the solstice, hurricane and thunderstorm season begins, and we slowly begin to start taking back the darkness. Now’s the time to overhaul that scope, align those mirrors, and await the return of dark skies. Here’s a brief look what’s up and coming from ye ole’ Astroguyz; [Read more...]

Astro-Event: Mars at Opposition.

Contrary to the once-every-August viral emails soon to be clogging your inbox, Mars will not appear as “large as a Full Moon” on this or any other year… but Mars will reach opposition this week on Friday, January 29th. Unfortunately, this apparition isn’t a particularly favorable one; Mars will only reach 14.1” arc seconds in apparent diameter, a far cry from the excellent 2003 opposition where it reached 25.1”, very close to the possible max. This is due to the fact that while Earth reached perihelion earlier this month, Mars is also very close to aphelion in its relatively eccentric orbit. In fact, although Mars approaches us every two years or so, the next really good opposition won’t be until 2018 (24.3”).  Still, any opposition of the Red Planet is worth viewing, as it is rare that Mars reveals any detail at all! Mars is currently in the constellation Cancer, and rises low in the east after sunset. Shining at magnitude -1.2, Mars is unmistakable for its orange-to red glow. Do things look a bit yellowish? A planet wide dust storm could be underway, as it is entering spring on the northern hemisphere of Mars.

[Read more...]

July09: News & Notes.

- Teenage Supernova Discovery: Ah…who says you can’t engage kids in science anymore? Supernova 2008ha was recently discovered by Caroline Moore of Warwick, New York. Discovery actually occurred back in November 7th of last year, and buzz has just passed around the Internet as this is one of the weakest supernovas to be discovered. Perhaps that’s why the big guys missed it…

[Read more...]