Mars Oppositon to Sun on 22 May 2016 - Spot Mars with naked eye

On 22nd May, 2016 at 4.47p.m. IST Celestial Phenomena of “Planet Mars Opposition to Sun” will occur. A planet is at opposition when it is directly opposite to Sun from our viewpoint on Earth. In other words during course its journey around Sun Planet Earth will have Faceoff with Planet Mars tomorrow.  

Fully Illuminated - Bright Mars – to Rise & Set opposite Sun: Due to opposition Mars can be seen all through night. If one can see he/she would notice as Sun Sets in the West Mars will rise in the East. As Sunrises in the East Mars Sets in West. Further Planet Mars will be fully illuminated by the sun and appears disk-like.

We see a great example of an opposition every month. Whenever there is a full moon, the moon is on one side of Earth and the sun is on the opposite side. Due to Opposition from 22 May – 25 May Mars will shine at -2.1 Magnitudes which is maximum brightness till next opposition in 2018.

The Next “Opposition of Mars” will occur on 27th July, 2018 whereas the last time Mars was at Opposition is on 8 April, 2014.  Similarly Next Month Planet Saturn will be at Opposition on 3 June

Time/Direction -  Naked Eye:  General Public can spot the Mars with naked eye after sunset. In the evening Half hour after Sunset looking towards the sky opposite direction to sunset, one can spot Planet mars between East and North East direction. Whereas at midnight one can see it above his head while in the morning it can be spotted in West and North West Direction.

How it will appear:. It will appear like Orangish Red Non-Twinkling Bright object in the sky when seen by naked eye.

Mars Closest Approach – Due to Mars Opposition on 22 May: Importantly whenever there is opposition the planet in question would be closest in its orbit to earth than any other time. Hence it will appear brightest, biggest (from Telescope).

So Planet Mars will be Closest it can get on 31st May 2016 at 3.06 a.m. at 0.50321 AU = 75.28 million km. The Minimum Distance from Mars to Earth is 55.7 Million km whereas Max. Distance Planet Mars can be away from Earth is 401.3 Million Km.

Request – Observation in Schools: we request schools to come forward be part of “Kalam Mars Observation Center” project to Host Sky Observation for Students and General Public (in School surroundings area). Technical know-how and astronomical Telescopes will be provided by Society.

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