Mars orbit around the Sun will carry it to its furthest point from the Earth – its apogee – moving to a distance of 2.66 AU from us. Since the size and brightness of Mars in the night sky both decrease when it is far away from us, this marks the moment when it will appear smallest, measuring a mere 3.5 arcsec in diameter. However, in practice, it will be rather too close to the Sun for observation, at an angular separation of only 3.1591655208787155° from it, as it will be close to solar conjunction.
The exact position of Mars at the moment it passes apogee will be:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
|The sky on 05 August 2017|
13 days old
All times shown in EDT.
Never attempt to point a pair of binoculars or a telescope at an object close to the Sun. Doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness.
The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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.
|05 Aug 2017||– Mars at apogee|
|07 Oct 2017||– Mars at aphelion|
|27 Jul 2018||– Mars at opposition|
|31 Jul 2018||– Mars at perigee|
© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope