Closer to us, the planet Mars is currently the brightest star of the evening, while waiting for the moon to return. Tips for admiring it.
Since ancient times humans have noticed the dramatic differences in the brightness of the planet Mars. We know that they are explained by the considerable variations in distance between us and this planet. Consider that the gap wants to vary from 50 at 400 million kilometers ! In this month of October 2020 the Red Planet is at 62 million kilometers. It is the brightest star at the start of the night with a magnitude of -2,6.
Even Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is a little less bright. The first rises quickly in the sky after dark, while the second file towards the southwest horizon, pursued by Saturn.
To find Mars as bright, we will have to wait until December 2022. the gap between two oppositions is indeed 780 days, a little over two years. Take advantage of this month of October to admire it. Without a telescope do not expect to see the melting of the south polar cap, Syrtis Major or Olympus Mons. Even less the two small satellites that are Phobos and Deimos. But I still invite you to go out and watch her, even in town. Its orange shine is clearly perceptible. If we know it is caused by iron oxide on the surface, it evoked blood for our ancestors. The latter naturally gave this wandering star the name of the god of war. : Mars.
The photo presented in this article was taken on the evening of 10 October. This is a pose of 20 seconds to 3200 iso. The body is a Nikon D7100, the objective a Samyang 12 mm focal length open to 4. Light pollution is quite significant there : villages that turn off their lights on weekdays after a certain time do not do so on Saturday evenings. However, we can distinguish the main constellations surrounding Mars. Also note on the left the small bright spot of the Pleiades star cluster.
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World news – FR – Admire the planet Mars, the brightest star in the evening