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PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 8:02 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The 2018 apparition of Mars has begun!

Last night during the 8pm CDT hour, Mars was in conjunction with the Sun. Now the Red Planet is moving into the morning sky. As the next twelve months progress, it will rise earlier and earlier, getting bigger and brighter. Finally, on Friday 27 July 2018 Mars will appear brighter than it has since 2003; it will be only a tenth of a magnitude dimmer than that historic opposition fifteen years prior.

More information:
http://spider.seds.org/spider/Mars/mars2018.html


Last edited by Christopher K. on February 12th, 2018, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 5:32 pm 
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Tomorrow at 7:30pm the Highland Road Park Observatory will host a brief presentation on next year' s Martian opposition. There is no admission fee and the talk is aimed at a general adult audience.


Last edited by Christopher K. on February 12th, 2018, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2017, 8:21 pm 
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Mars can now be sighted is a low eastern sky at dawn. Don't believe me? Try Thursday morning (which NOAA forecasts to have virtually no cloud cover). At 5:59am CDT--forty-five minutes before sunrise--Mars stands three degrees off the horizon.

Or try sooner if the weather allows. From Monday to Wednesday mornings, Mars will be less than a degree from Regulus; on Tuesday morning that distance will be a scant 0˚42'!


Last edited by Christopher K. on February 12th, 2018, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2018, 3:58 pm 
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"The Great Martian Apparition", which will recount the six months of Mars viewing wonder that will be available from February to July of this year, will be presented at HRPO on Friday 2 February at 7:30pm. The talk has no admission fee and is aimed at a general adult audience.


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PostPosted: February 12th, 2018, 7:08 pm 
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Probably sometime before midnight, Mars will reach a size of six arcseconds in our sky! Sometime after midnight, Mars will reach (probably) a magnitude of +1.0. These are unofficial beginnings for this apparition.

No help from the weather though. Below is the NOAA forecast for 12am...
precipitation potential, 11%
sky cover, 95%
relative humidity, 86%
temperature, 9˚C
wind chill, 7˚C
surface wind, NE 13 km/h

Danko's Clear Dark Sky states that at 12am both the transparency rating and the seeing rating will be "too cloudy to forecast" (0 out of 5). The sky viewing rating is BAD.

This is just the beginning, remember! Good Martian times are ahead...


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PostPosted: March 12th, 2018, 3:42 pm 
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With a good telescope (and good transparency and seeing) one may begin to distinguish certain features on the Red Planet's surface--at least by the end of the month. The planet is about magnitude 0.6 and rises about 2:25am.


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PostPosted: April 9th, 2018, 5:46 pm 
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The time is now. This upcoming nighttime period marks the beginning of 240 days of Mars! It is already nine arcseconds in diameter. By Friday morning it probably will be magnitude 0--the same brightness as Arcturus and Vega!!

Mars will be fifteen degrees up at 3:10am CDT tomorrow, and thirty degrees up at 4:58am. It will remain in complete darkness until 5:20am. A binocular will reveal the Red Planet to be "below" the K-class pair known as Nu Sagittarii. Off to the northeast in the same FOV will be another K-class (brighter at mag 3.8), Omicron Sagittarii.


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PostPosted: April 20th, 2018, 6:03 pm 
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I have recently purchased Terraforming Mars from the Little Wars gaming shop. I have yet to open it but it looks very intriguing and for all its apparent complexity even can be played solo. If manufacturers of Mars-themed games have any sense, they'll take advantage of this year's Great Opposition.

Little Wars was founded in the 1980s by Charles Elliot. It was located previously on College Drive...
https://littlewars.com


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PostPosted: April 26th, 2018, 12:33 pm 
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The InSight launch is scheduled for 5 May. The launch party at HRPO will be that facility's first program of the year with Mars in the sky! The Party is from 5am to 8am.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2018, 6:01 pm 
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A specially-developed BRAS outreach will take place in the children's rooms of all branches of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library between 29 May and 19 July. The program is meant to explain to kids (via visuals and demonstrations) what makes this Opposition of Mars so incredible. The age range may be slightly different from branch to branch, although no branch should charge a fee. Some branches may require advanced registration. All start times are 2pm CDT; the outreach lasts about forty-five minutes to one hour.

*Tuesday 29 May = River Center Library (447 Third Street, 389-4967)
*Thursday 31 May = Baker Library (3501 Groom Road, 778-5940)
*Tuesday 5 June = Eden Park Library (5131 Greenwell Springs Road, 231-3240)
*Thursday 7 June = Carver Library (720 Terrace Street, 389-7440)
*Tuesday 12 June = Pride-Chaneyville Library (13600 Pride-Port Hudson Road, 658-1540)
*Thursday 14 June = Zachary Library (1900 Church Street, 658-1840)
*Tuesday 19 June = Bluebonnet Library (9200 Bluebonnet Boulevard, 763-2240)
*Thursday 21 June = Delmont Gardens Library (3351 Lorraine Street, 354-7050)
*Tuesday 26 June = Goodwood Library (7711 Goodwood Boulevard, 231-3740)
*Tuesday 3 July = Greenwell Springs Library (11300 Greenwell Springs Road, 274-4440)
*Thursday 5 July = Jones Creek Library (6222 Jones Creek Road, 756-1140)
*Tuesday 10 July = Fairwood Library (12910 Old Hammond Highway, 924-9385)
*Thursday 12 July = Central Library (11260 Joor Road, 262-2640)
*Thursday 19 July = Scotlandville Library (7373 Scenic Highway, 354-7540)

Other BRAS outreaches:
http://www.brastro.org/outreach.html


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