Mars at Opposition

October 30, 2020


Photographer: Howard Cohen 
Summary Authors: Howard Cohen; Jim Foster

Orange-red Mars shines as a brilliant jewel at nightfall now, and since it’s just past opposition (October 13), it’s up nearly all night long. It was actually nearest to us on October 6 (some 32 million miles or 69 million km distant) and is now drifting further away each day. The photo above shows Mars (top-center) as observed from a suburban avenue in Gainesville, Florida, easily visible even with bright streetlights. However, if you’re out on Halloween night, even though Mars will be nearly overhead, the full Moon (about 1/160 of the distance to Mars and over 9000 times brighter) will certainly detract from its majesty. This surely won’t please the God of War – it might be an extra spooky night to be out and about. Photo taken on October 11, 2020.

Photo Details: Canon 5D II camera; 50mm f/1.8 lens; 8-second exposure; f/3.5; ISO 1600; processed with Corel PaintShop Pro, slightly trimmed from the original.