Mars Opposition 2018 - Earthbound Astronomer Excursion #1
- Fri, Aug 3, 2018 2:00 PM Sun, Aug 5, 2018 2:00 PM
- Kickapoo Cavern State Park (map)
Earthbound Astronomer is excited to bring you our first Texas State Park Excursion Event. Join fellow astronomers from around Central Texas August 3-5 at Kickapoo Cavern State Park to observe the grandeur of a Bortle-2 sky and the 2018 Opposition of Mars.
Mars is the next farthest planet from the sun after our planet Earth. It has a solar orbital period roughly twice that of us and therefore we pass between it and the sun once every two years. During this passing Mars appears on one side of our planet with the sun on the other, on opposing sides. Because planets have elliptical orbits at any given time our distance from the planets varies and at different points in time we are at our closest and farthest from them by way of them being closest and farthest from the sun; perihelion and aphelion respectively. This summer the planet Mars happens to be at opposition as well as perihelion. The point of opposition occurs on July 27. The red planet will outshine the planet Jupiter in the night sky by 1.8 times. Due to our moon’s phase, rising time and setting time, the optimum weekend observing time is the first week in August.