© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

Mars at aphelion

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed

Objects: Mars
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss
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 observable – it will reach its highest point in the sky during daytime and will be no higher than 5° above the horizon at dusk.

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 2021 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 09h28m00s 16°11'N Leo 1.8 3.8"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 12 July 2021
Sunrise
05:29
Sunset
20:29
Twilight ends
22:29
Twilight begins
03:29

2-day old moon
Waxing Crescent

12%

2 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:11 11:37 19:03
Venus 07:52 14:57 22:02
Moon 07:46 15:17 22:37
Mars 07:57 15:00 22:02
Jupiter 22:26 03:46 09:06
Saturn 21:33 02:30 07:27
All times shown in EDT.

Source

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.

Related news

13 Oct 2020  –  Mars at opposition
30 Nov 2022  –  Mars at perigee
08 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee

Image credit

© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

Share

Follow

Fairfield

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

41.14°N
73.26°W
EDT

Color scheme