Home > Conjunction, Ephemeris Program > 08/04/2016 – Ephemeris – Mars’ lookalike star

08/04/2016 – Ephemeris – Mars’ lookalike star

August 4, 2016

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 4th.  The Sun rises at 6:32.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 9:03.  The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 10:01 this evening.

As it gets dark this evening a bright reddish star will appear low in the south. It will appear to twinkle mightily.  It is not the planet Mars, which is brighter and to the right of it, but its rival the star Antares in Scorpius the scorpion.  The star’s name, Antares, notes the rivalry.  “Ant” means anti, while “Ares” is the Greek name for the Roman god Mars.  Antares literally means “Rival of Mars”.  Antares appears red due to its cool surface temperature of 3,600 Kelvin, much cooler than the sun’s 6,000 Kelvin, while Mars is red due to rust.  Watch nightly as Mars slowly approaches Antares, and will pass it on the 24th.  Being always low in the sky, Antares’ spectacular twinkling has sparked more than a few emails about a strange light in the sky.

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


Mars approaching Antares

Animation of Mars approaching Antares from August 4 to the 24th, 2016 at 10 p.m. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

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