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Mars over Canberra?

By breda - 27 September 2013 13

It’s 7.40 pm and I have just been outside. There is a large, unblinking orange/red dot in the sky roughly in the north-west.

Is it Mars? Gungahlin Al, where are you?

One of the joys of living here is that you get to see Venus quite often. It is a small but unblinking blue dot, usually in the north-east.

Seeing Mars and Venus reminds us that the solar system that we live in is not just an abstract concept.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Mars over Canberra?
zllauh 2:32 pm 15 May 15

mars mars mars.
the thought that we might take a step out of EARTH and take a shelter on some other planet excites me a lot.
come here future technology , we need you :p

GardeningGirl 5:38 pm 28 Sep 13

Sigh, missed Mercury, missed the ISS, missed the Skywhale.

Dingoman25 10:17 am 28 Sep 13

breda said :

Thanks Dingoman. According to that site, it was indeed Mercury, which briefly looked very large in the night sky.

The colour looked different to Mars as well. Mars is usually distinctly red, while this one had more of an orange tint.

Seeing Mercury has lifted my spirits, for reasons I can’t explain. Skywatching is good for the soul!

Skywatching is indeed good for the soul!

The http://www.heavens-above.com/ website is also terrific for getting the times for the overpass of ISS, bright satellites and Irridium flares. When camping, BBQ, partying at night, especially with kids, it’s great getting everyone to watch a quadrant of sky for a few minutes and spot satellites, and to take a print out (black on white option) of the Sky Chart and point out stars, etc.

breda 5:34 am 28 Sep 13

Thanks Dingoman. According to that site, it was indeed Mercury, which briefly looked very large in the night sky.

The colour looked different to Mars as well. Mars is usually distinctly red, while this one had more of an orange tint.

Seeing Mercury has lifted my spirits, for reasons I can’t explain. Skywatching is good for the soul!

OpenYourMind 7:34 pm 27 Sep 13

I’d be fairly confident what you were seeing was Mars. Mars is crazy bright right now.

Dingoman25 4:37 pm 27 Sep 13

This site has good info.
http://www.heavens-above.com/skychart.aspx?SL=1&SN=1&lat=-35.28333&lng=149.2167&loc=Canberra&alt=609&tz=AEST

It will default to the current time for Canberra; just go down to the bottom of the page and change the day and time for when you saw the stellar object Breda.

watto23 2:33 pm 27 Sep 13

I saw it last night too and assumed it was mars. I see Mars quite often. Mercury is often difficult because its so close to the sun and often sets before or with the sun.

Rawhide Kid Part3 10:54 am 27 Sep 13

Growling Ferret said :

If you have an android device, download Google Sky map. Its well worth the effort.

Theres also an App for the iPhone and iPads and all i things called Sky Walk.

breda 10:41 am 27 Sep 13

Wow – so it may have been Mercury? It was one of the largest planet dots that I have ever seen and Mercury is tiny, so I assumed that it was Mars.

Thanks to responders. One of the joys of living here is the sky on a cold, clear night.

Deref 10:28 am 27 Sep 13

Growling Ferret said :

If you have an android device, download Google Sky map. Its well worth the effort.

It’s brilliant – thoroughly recommended!

Growling Ferret 10:25 am 27 Sep 13

If you have an android device, download Google Sky map. Its well worth the effort.

davo101 9:39 am 27 Sep 13

From the horizon up at the moment it’s: Mercury, Saturn and Venus. At the moment Mercury twice as bright as Saturn so you might have been lucky enough to have seen it.

Growling Ferret 9:25 am 27 Sep 13

Last night you had Venus, Saturn and Mercury, AND the ISS flying over. The kids loved it.

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