Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tonight's Sky for March 21: Young Moon Meets Mars

New to astronomy? Want to see the planet Mars, but don't know where to look? Well, it's your lucky night as the Moon will be right next to Mars just after sunset low in the Western sky. .

To see Mars, just go out before sunrise and look East. The Moon is, of course, impossible to miss. As for Mars, it's that bright 'star' right next to Luna. The way to tell that Mars is a planet? Unlike stars, doesn't twinkle thanks to the fact that it shines from reflected light.

In a binoculars, Mars looks more reddish than with the naked eye. In a telescope, Mars is obviously not a star as a planetary disc is very evident at high powers. As for what this means, look at Mars and notice its clear-cut edges. Then swing to a star and notice its diffuse edges.

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