Now, say you are like me and you want to go and stargaze on the Mars Opposition, but oh no you can’t because for say, you have work to do, or you have to collimate your telescope which will take some time, or your hanging with your friends or be doing camping (You can probably still see Mars by the way but with your eye only)
So I have this post so you know how long Mars will be over a certain size or a certain magnitude! Mars at it’s best on July 31st, 2018 was 24.34″ in size, -2.79 magnitude and from 40 degrees latitude, mars only climbs just higher than 20 degrees in the sky, go south to view it. Like, say Florida latitude or the Equator!
Btw here is a picture I got with my non-collimated telescope using multiple stacked images! 😀
Till Aug 8th, 2018 – 24″ or bigger in size
Now you don’t have much time for that Mars, the picture above was taken when Mars was above 24″ (Around 24.31″), So most people will barely make out a smidge of Mars!
Just make sure you buy yourself at least a 2x Barlow and 12mm or smaller eyepiece with a wide angle. Then you should be good.
Till Aug 22nd, 2018 – Bigger than the next Opposition – 22.6″
The next one will only be 91% of the size of the current Opposition, so if you do miss this date entirely, wait until October 2020 for the next one. After this, mars just shrinks even faster. Mars rises now at 7:18pm and gets at its highest at 11:21pm
Till Sep 5th, 2018 – 20″ or bigger in size and brighter than -2 magnitude
You have just over a month to get mars before it shrinks under 20″, Mars is now 83% of the Opposition size. You will definitely see a difference if you looked at it the same way. Mars rises now at 6:20pm and gets at its highest at 10:27pm
Till Oct 5th, 2018 – 15″ or bigger in size
Correct that to two months, you have lots of time here. Also, this is when it gets cool outside! Brrrrr! Around this same time, Venus and Jupiter are getting close to conjunction with the Sun. Mars is 62% of the size it was when it was Opposition, Mars is now unviewable thru a beginners telescope. it now requires over 150x to make out a single dot. Mars rises now at 4:37pm and gets at its highest at 9:02pm
Till Oct 13th – Brighter than Magnitude -1
Well, that didn’t take much longer didn’t it, Also Mars is done its retrograde stuff fully and is now traveling along the constellations.
Till Nov 21st – 10″ or bigger in size
Now it is a full 3 months to view Mars until this size! Mars is only 41% of Opposition and is now needs around 225x to make out. Mars is around the same size of a Mercury best and has traveled into Aquarius in the timeframe between Magnitude -1 and the 10″ mark. You probably know whats coming next. Mars is now -0.2 Magnitude by the way. Mars rises at 1:27pm and reaches its highest at 6:35pm
Till Dec 2nd – Brighter than Magnitude 0.
Mars is now the same brightness Saturn would be at Opposition (Speaking of Saturn, that planet is now close to conjunction as well!) Mars is now 9.1″ in size.
Till Sun Conjunction
Mars will rise even earlier, and its the Sun’s game of Chase!
Mars will pass Neptune on Dec 7th
Mars enters Pisces on Dec 22nd and is now 8.3″ in size.
Mars passes Uranus on Feb 12th
Mars enters Aries on Feb 24th is now 1.1 in Magnitude and 5″ in size. Already nearly twice as dim as Saturn which rises in the Morning.
Mars enters Taurus on Mar 18th
Mars enters Gemini on May 19th. It sets now under two hours after Sunset.
Mars passes Mercury on June 18th. It sets just over an hour after Sunset.
Mars enters Cancer on July 2nd.
Mars enters Leo on Aug 10th
Mars is in Conjunction with the sun on Sep 1st.
So that is 7 Constellations for the Sun to catch Mars! then Mars will go for 7-8 more constellations and stops in Pisces. That’s all for this blog post! Happy stargazing! 🙂