On a clear night, is Mars visible with the naked eye?
#110822. Asked by star_gazer. (Nov 16 09 11:46 PM)
Yes, apart from a few months every two years when it is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth and therefore invisible.|
Currently it is in the constellation Cancer and is the brightest object in the area, visible during the early hours of the morning until sunrise. It is about half-way between Castor and Pollux in Gemini and Regulus in Leo. At 5:30am local time it is approximately due south, the actual direction and height above the horizon depending on your location. Rising earlier and earlier each night, it will be due south at midnight in early February 2010. It is orange-red and quite distinctive.
By the end of the month it will have a magnitude (brightness) of 0. By comparison Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, has a magnitude of -1.4 and Polaris, the Pole Star, +2.1. The higher the magnitude the fainter the star, and the faintest visible has a magnitude of 6.
Skyglobe is a simple planetarium program which will allow you to simulate the sky on your PC for any date and time at your location. You can download and install it from:
(may not work on Vista)
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