Full Moon and Mars Through Fog

September 11, 2003


Provided by: Laurent Laveder, Optics of the Atmosphere Gallery
Summary authors & editors: Laurent Laveder

The above photo was taken on August 12. The night sky was rather foggy, but the Full Moon and nearby Mars gave us a memorable show. I was on the beach of Kermor, in Finistère (western France) when I took this picture with a friend in the foreground. Though Mars is indeed closer during the current apparition than anytime in the past 60,000 years, it still looks more or less like a bright reddish star with the unaided eye. It's far too distant to make out any surface features, even with binoculars. A good telescope is needed to see the polar caps. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for August 28, 2003.

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