Mars On The Beach


After its spectacular opposition last November, Mars still shone brightly, offering a pleasing addition to shots of the night sky. To wit:

The celestial beacon easily attracted the attention of these two night skygazers who stood still for just a while, but long enough to be captured in the sea and night skyscape from Big Sur, planet Earth. Its central bulge near the southwestern horizon, the Milky Way runs through the scene too, while the long exposure also reveals a faint blue bioluminescence blooming in the waves along Pfeiffer Beach. Now much fainter, Mars can be spotted near the western horizon after sunset, but this month Jupiter is near its closest and brightest, reaching its own opposition on June 10. Night skygazers can spot brilliant Jupiter over southern horizons, glaring next to the stars toward the central Milky Way.

(Image: Jack Fusco)


2 thoughts on “Mars On The Beach

  1. Slightly Bemused

    Nice picture, and good information also. As mentioned here, Jupiter is at its closest point and if skies are clear tonight, should stand out beautifully. It also is close enough that even a relatively low power binoculars should allow people to see it clearly, and the Galilean moons. Galileo’s own original telescope was only 8 x magnification, and his later one 20 x, well within the range of a small set of binoculars. Better views with ones with a larger objective diameter (front lens) which means they gather more light and give a clearer image.

    Personally, I like binoculars for quick observations: faster to set up and keep tracking, especially when opportunities are limited in terms of time and space (for example, trying to catch the fast moving ISS). I recommend having something to rest elbows on for a steadier view. They don’t beat a proper telescope for clarity and magnification, but they are a handy, convenient tool.

    I really like this series of astronomical observations. Please keep them coming.

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