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Mars at aphelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Mars
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The sky at

Mars's 687-day orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point to the Sun – its aphelion – at a distance of 1.67 AU.

Unlike most of the planets, which follow almost exactly circular orbits around the Sun which only vary in their distance from the Sun by a few percent, Mars has a significantly elliptical orbit. Its distance from the Sun varies between 1.38 AU and 1.67 AU – a variation of over 20% – meaning that it receives 31% less heat and light from the Sun at aphelion as compared to perihelion.

Finding Mars

Mars's distance from the Sun doesn't affect its appearance. From Fairfield, at the moment of aphelion it will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 02:15 (EDT) and reaching an altitude of 38° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 06:00.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

A chart of the path of Mars across the sky in 2015 can be found here, and a chart of its rising and setting times here.

The position of Mars at the moment it passes aphelion will be:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
Mars 12h19m10s -00°30' Virgo 1.6 4.6"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 20 November 2015
Sunrise
06:46
Sunset
16:31
Twilight ends
18:07
Twilight begins
05:10

9-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

68%

9 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:58 11:45 16:32
Venus 02:56 08:47 14:38
Moon 13:28 19:20 00:03
Mars 02:13 08:15 14:17
Jupiter 00:59 07:20 13:41
Saturn 07:24 12:14 17:05
All times shown in EST.

Source

The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Related news

20 Nov 2015  –  Mars at aphelion
22 May 2016  –  Mars at opposition
30 May 2016  –  Mars at perigee
29 Oct 2016  –  Mars at perihelion

Image credit

None available.

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

Color scheme