© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

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 become visible around 21:13 (EDT), 32° above your western horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting 3 hours and 58 minutes after the Sun at 00:15.

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 2023 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 08h33m00s 20°19'N Cancer 1.6 4.7"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 30 May 2023
Sunrise
05:21
Sunset
20:17
Twilight ends
22:21
Twilight begins
03:21

11-day old moon
Waxing Gibbous

83%

11 days old

Planets
Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 04:26 11:15 18:04
Venus 08:33 16:08 23:43
Moon 15:33 21:30 03:13
Mars 09:36 16:55 00:14
Jupiter 03:41 10:25 17:09
Saturn 01:35 07:01 12:27
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

08 Dec 2022  –  Mars at opposition
12 Jan 2025  –  Mars at perigee
15 Jan 2025  –  Mars at opposition
19 Feb 2027  –  Mars at opposition

Image credit

© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope

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41.14°N
73.26°W
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