Mars 2005 Opposition
27 Sep 05
08 Oct 05
Mars completes a revolution around the sun in 2 years. Every 26 months, the earth catches up with Mars to produce an oppostion. Because the orbits are not perfectly circular, some oppostions bring the Earth closer to Mars than others. The closest opposition in human history was August 2003 when the disc of Mars was nearly 26 arc seconds in diameter. During the 2005 opposition, the diameter was 20 arc seconds. Think of a looking at a penny from a distance 500 feet (2003) and 620 feet (2005). Mars will not be as large as 20 arc seconds until 2018 You will see that Mars exhibits moon-like phases. These photos were taken with an Astro-Physics refractor (152 af f/60 or 178 at f/45) with a Celestron NexImage video camera. The seeing conditions determine largely the detail and sharpness of the image! The 25 Oct 2005 image was published on NASA's website . Click here to see Mars 2003 pictures taken with a digital slr camera.
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