Skip to Content

Planets

Mars Opposition 2020

Mars Opposition 2020: Best Time to See the Red Planet

|Planets|6 Comments

You may have started to notice a bright "star" in the night sky in the east. Today, my sister asked me "what is that bright red star I see every night? Is it a planet? It sure is, it's the red planet Mars. The reason it is so bright is that is nearing its closest approach to Earth, or, opposition.  In the video below, I photograph the planet Mars using an 11" telescope from my backyard: For the next few weeks, Mars will get bigger and brighter, making this an ideal time to take a series of photos over many nights to record the changes. It will remain visible for the next 12+ month…

Planets in Pre-Dawn Sky

5 Visible Planets at Once

|Planets|0 Comments

I woke up at 5:30 am this morning to attempt to photograph the 5 visible planets at dawn. This astronomical event is rather rare, and will only be possible for about 2 more weeks. Seeing the 5 brightest planets simultaneously has not been possible since 2005! The first week of February is the absolute best time to see all five planets in the pre-dawn sky. Mercury is by far the hardest planet to spot because it never strays too far from the sun from our perspective. However, it's proximity to Venus and the waning crescent moon makes it much easier to locate this week. [caption id="atta…

transit of venus

Once in a Lifetime Event

|Blog Updates|0 Comments

On June 5th, 2012, I witnessed the Planet Venus transit the Sun from my backyard. I used an Orion 4.5" Skyquest Dobsonian telescope with a homemade solar filter to observe the event. My parents joined me to watch with their solar glasses on. I remember the feeling of watching the Sun up close through the telescope as I bathed in the warmth of our star at the same time. It was a memorable experience. The most interesting part of the event for me, was that the planet Venus begain to cross in fron of the Sun at the exact moment it was scheduled to. It's truly amazsing how predictable the mo…