Mars-Saturn-Antares Triangle (23 March to 23 September 2016)

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Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Mars-Saturn-Antares Triangle (23 March to 23 September 2016)

Post by Christopher K. » March 23rd, 2016, 3:30 pm

HRPO Education Curator Amy Brouillette fielded a question from a gentleman asking about a bright object near Mars these mornings. The object is Saturn and the two planets create a lovely triangle with Antares for the next few days. The triangle spans about ten degrees on its largest side and stands about thirty to forty degrees up in the south at 5am CDT.
Last edited by Christopher K. on September 14th, 2016, 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mars-Saturn-Antares Triangle

Post by Christopher K. » March 28th, 2016, 3:08 pm

The Moon joins this setup tomorrow morning, creating a squashed rectangle with the other three. Look anytime from 1:49am (when the four will be rising in the east) to 5:35am (when the pattern will be culminating in the south).

Christopher K.
Posts: 4797
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Mars-Saturn-Antares Triangle

Post by Christopher K. » September 14th, 2016, 3:23 pm

The last few days during which these three honestly form a triangle are here. The shape is stretched severely as the laws of physics move Mars (from our viewpoint) further and further from the others. Mars dims from -0.1 to 0.0 during this time; it already shrank below a diameter of 10" earlier this month. Mars crosses from Ophiuchus into Sagittarius a little before 8pm CDT on the 21st.

Saturn maintains a brightness of 0.5, and remains in Ophiuchus.

Below are the times past which the triangle is probably too low to be seen easily...
14 September, 9:21pm CDT
17 September, 9:09pm CDT
20 September, 8:57pm CDT
23 September, 8:46pm CDT

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