Thursday, 28 January 2010
Happy Birthday !
I knew there was something 'special' about this Friday Night !
Mars and Moon in heavenly show...
Mars and the full Moon pair up to provide a grand celestial spectacle on Friday night.
The Red Planet, now 62 million miles from Earth, will be at its brightest this year as it lines up opposite the Sun.
At around 9pm, Mars will be above and to the left of the Moon, about the length of an outstretched fist away.
A standard SLR camera fitted with a telephoto lens is all you need to capture the scene, says Robin Scagell, from the Society for Popular Astronomy.
"Mars is looking really quite red and impressive at the moment, and the Moon will be full, he said. "It's going to be a great sight and rather fun to look for.
"A telescope has too close a field of view, but with a 100mm telephoto lens you'd just about get them both in the picture, and you'll be able to see details on the Moon."
A pair of binoculars and a clear out-of-town sky will reveal an added bonus - the "beehive" star cluster - between the two objects, said Mr Scagell.
Mars is at its most spectacular when close to the Earth at opposition.
In 2003 the planet was just 35 million miles away as it faced the Sun, and more than four times brighter than it will be on the night of 29th January 2010.