3,710 days away
Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Outer Planets feed
Mars will reach the end of its retrograde motion, ending its westward movement through the constellations and returning to more usual eastward motion instead. This reversal of direction is a phenomenon that all the solar system's outer planets periodically undergo, a few months after they pass opposition.
The retrograde motion is caused by the Earth's own motion around the Sun. As the Earth circles the Sun, our perspective changes, and this causes the apparent positions of objects to move from side-to-side in the sky with a one-year period. This nodding motion is super-imposed on the planet's long-term eastward motion through the constellations.
The diagram below illustrates this. The grey dashed arrow shows the Earth's sight-line to the planet, and the diagram on the right shows the planet's apparently movement across the sky as seen from the Earth:
The retrograde motion of a planet in the outer solar system. Not drawn to scale.
2033 apparition of Mars
|26 May 2033||–||Mars enters retrograde motion|
|27 Jun 2033||–||Mars at opposition|
|05 Jul 2033||–||Mars at perigee|
|01 Aug 2033||–||Mars ends retrograde motion|
Mars leaves retrograde motion as its 2033 apparition comes to an end, although it will remain visible for some weeks in the dusk sky.
Its celestial coordinates as it leaves retrograde motion will be:
|Object||Right Ascension||Declination||Constellation||Magnitude||Angular Size|
The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.
From Fairfield , it will be visible in the evening sky, becoming accessible around 20:27 (EDT), 16° above your south-eastern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 22:06, 20° above your southern horizon. It will continue to be observable until around 01:12, when it sinks below 7° above your south-western horizon.
Over the following weeks, Mars will reach its highest point in the sky four minutes earlier each night, gradually disappearing into evening twilight.
The panels below show the month-by-month change in Mars' apparent size in coming weeks, as it recedes from the Earth:
The table below lists Mars' angular size at brightness at two-week intervals throughout its apparition:
|23 May 2033||16.7”||-1.5|
|06 Jun 2033||19.2”||-2.0|
|20 Jun 2033||21.3”||-2.4|
|04 Jul 2033||22.1”||-2.5|
|18 Jul 2033||21.5”||-2.3|
|01 Aug 2033||19.9”||-2.0|
|15 Aug 2033||17.8”||-1.6|
|29 Aug 2033||15.9”||-1.3|
|12 Sep 2033||14.1”||-1.0|
|26 Sep 2033||12.6”||-0.7|
|10 Oct 2033||11.3”||-0.5|
The sky on 01 Aug 2033
|The sky on 01 August 2033|
6 days old
All times shown in EDT.
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 Jul 2033||– Mars at perigee|
|11 Sep 2035||– Mars at perigee|
|15 Sep 2035||– Mars at opposition|
|11 Nov 2037||– Mars at perigee|
© NASA/Hubble Space Telescope