Observers of the sky in Egypt and the Arab world are preparing to observe the encounter of Mars this evening, Wednesday, December 7, 2022, as the face of the planet will be completely lit by sunlight, visible clearly and distinctly with the naked eye after sunset and early night, and it will be close to the full moon in conjunction throughout the night.
And the Astronomical Society in Jeddah revealed in its report that the phenomenon of meeting Mars deserves to be monitored because this planet at this time is in its best condition and it is the only one whose surface details can be seen from the Earth. As for Mercury, it is very small and the other planet is covered with clouds, so this is an exceptional event for everyone.
Mars will be at its best and brightest as the sun will illuminate the entire disk of Mars and reach its maximum brightness for this year (-1.9). apparent to the planet last May, because Mars reached its closest point to Earth in early December.
The report continued: When observing Mars with the naked eye, it will appear as a bright orange point of light, and when using binoculars, it will also appear as a point of light without clear features, completely as if you are looking at it with the naked eye. Therefore, binoculars are not suitable for observing Mars.
The phenomenon of meeting the planet Mars is a relatively rare event, as it occurs every two years, and during this time the planet appears bright so it is very easy to find and distinguish it from other celestial bodies, especially in the meeting where it will appear as a bright red point in front of the constellation Taurus, specifically among the stars that make up one of the stars. “horns” of the bull.
Mars encounter also represents the middle of the best time to see the planet, and it repeats approximately every 26 months. During this time, the earth is between Mars and the sun, and Mars is facing the sun in the sky, as it will appear above the northeastern horizon at sunset and reaches its highest point in the southeast by mid Almost night.
Note that not all encounters of Mars are equal, since both the orbits of Mars and Earth are elliptical, so some encounters between the two planets are closer than others, and this occurs in the form of groups of two or three that are repeated in an average cycle of 15 to 17 years.
The Mars encounter occurs this year 2022, coinciding with the closest point to perihelion during the next ten years, at a distance of 80 million km from Earth, and thus it will be the best encounter until the year 2033.
Another astronomical phenomenon will coincide with the meeting of Mars, as residents of North America, Western Europe, and northwest Africa will have the opportunity to see the occultation of Mars behind the moon, in a wonderful scene.
During the 2022 Mars encounter, both polar regions can be seen through a medium or large telescope. However, you won’t see the ice domes: the northern ice dome is now covered by a thick layer of clouds, while the southern cover has shrunk dramatically during the summer season.
In general, Mars is the only planet whose surface we can see in detail from Earth. However, it is a small planet, about twice the size of the Moon and about half the size of Earth. It often spends most of the time away on the other side of its orbit from Earth, and usually appears as nothing more than a mere A small orange dot without features, but at the time of encounter, marks can be seen on its surface, its polar dome, and its clouds.
The best telescope for planetary observation is a large refractor or long focus reflecting telescope, but with any good telescope observations of this planet can be done. The important factor is usually the stability of the atmosphere, which can change from hour to hour and affect image quality.
Using a 4 or 6 inch telescope, and in the case of clear skies and the air is still, you may be able to see the northern polar cap, dark surface marks, clouds, and dust, and when using a 105-magnifier, make the disk of Mars appear the same angular size as the moon appears to the naked eye.
It is preferable to use an 8-inch Dobsonian telescope with a Newtonian design, and the reason is that it is easy to use and portable. It is preferable to get the same telescope with a size of 10 inches or even 16 inches.
Color filters can also be used to improve monitoring. A wide range of color filters are suitable, for example a green or blue filter will enhance the polar caps, and a red or orange filter will improve dark details.
Mars will reach the moment of convergence on the morning of Thursday, December 08, 2022, at 09:00 AM Mecca time (06:00 AM GMT).
After meeting Mars, its brightness will begin to decrease day by day, then it will dim by the end of the month, and every night the red planet will appear above the horizon early.
It is worth noting that the next Mars encounter will occur on January 16, 2025, but the distance separating the Earth from the Red Planet will be greater, so it will appear slightly dimmer and its angular size smaller in the sky, and this is an additional reason not to miss seeing the Mars encounter 2022.
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