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Mars at aphelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

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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 not be readily observable since it will be very close to the Sun, at a separation of only 2° from it.

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 2019 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 10h27m50s +10°48' Leo 1.8 3.5"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 25 August 2019
Sunrise
06:12
Sunset
19:38
Twilight ends
21:18
Twilight begins
04:32

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent

25%

24 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 05:21 12:21 19:20
Venus 06:27 13:09 19:51
Moon 00:53 08:17 15:40
Mars 06:24 13:06 19:48
Jupiter 14:51 19:31 00:15
Saturn 17:00 21:39 02:22
All times shown in EDT.

Warning

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.

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

25 Aug 2019  –  Mars at aphelion
28 Aug 2019  –  Mars at apogee
02 Sep 2019  –  Mars at solar conjunction
03 Aug 2020  –  Mars at perihelion

Image credit

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Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
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41.14°N
73.26°W
EST

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