Mars

At the end of August, the planet Mars made its closest approach to Earth in about 5000 years.  It was very easy to see, since it was the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon.  After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, I figured out how to get some good pictures.  I started a couple days before the closest approach on Aug. 27.  Unfortunately, the nights of 8-26, 8-27, and 8-28 were cloudy, so this was as good as I got.  The next event was when Mars would make is closest (apparent) approach with the Moon, on Sept. 8 and 9 (the 9th was the full moon).


Mars, August 25, 2 days before closest approach.  In the original picture, the disc is about 16 pixels wide


This sequence shows how much the planet's apparent position moves.  Each image was taken 1 minute apart


The waxing moon, Sept. 7.  Mars was no where near the moon.

     


Mars and the moon, Sept. 9.  The previous night, Mars was on the other side of the moon, about this far away.


Mars on Sept. 9.  By now the planet is moving farther away from the Earth, and the original image is only about 12 to 14 pixels wide.


The full moon, Sept. 9

     
 


This is the camera and lens used to take the pictures (other than the Mars/Moon one, which was taken without the extension lens).  The extension lens is an 8x tele-converter, giving me a 35mm effective focal length of about 1200 mm.