Home > Ephemeris Program, GTAS Outreach Event, Observing, stars > 09/26/2014 – Ephemeris – Mars meets its rival

09/26/2014 – Ephemeris – Mars meets its rival

September 26, 2014

Ephemeris for Friday, September 26th.  The sun will rise at 7:34.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 58 minutes, setting at 7:32.   The moon, 2 days past new, will set at 8:45 this evening.

The planet Mars and the bright star Antares will appear at their closest tomorrow night.  The name of the star Antares means “Rival of Mars”.  “Ant” meaning anti, “Ares”, the Greek equivalent to the Roman god Mars.  This is about a 26 month recurrence, give or take.  Usually Mars is way brighter than Antares, or way dimmer.  This time Mars and Antares are the same brightness.  Both planet and star have the same color, kind of a faded orange color, made redder by being low in our sky which drains even more of the blue out.  The reason Mars is red is that its surface is rusty.  Antares is another matter.  It is a cool red giant star.  Well, cool on the outside by hotter than the sun’s interior on the inside where it’s changing helium into carbon and oxygen for power.  Hint:  Mars is always on top.  Also tomorrow night the crescent Moon will be just to the right of Saturn.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addenda

Mars & Antares

Mars appears its closest to Antares. Here seen low in the southwest at 8:30 p.m. on September 27, 2014. The Moon, near Saturn is too small to show a phase. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn & Moon

Saturn with the crescent moon. Earthshine may still be visible on the three day old Moon’s night side. Created using Stellarium.

Acme Fall Festival

The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be at the Acme Fall Festival at Flintfields Horse Park on Bates Rd, North of M72, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday the 27th.   The society will bring telescopes, including the 25 inch Dobsonian telescope and the Solar Telescope to view the Sun in white light and the light of the element hydrogen. There will also be exhibits and free stuff from NASA for the kids.

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