Eclipse of Mars to happen on December 8: What is it and will it be visible from Armenia?

December 7, 2022  21:28

Three cosmic phenomena will happen on Thursday. At 10:00 am Yerevan time an eclipse of the planet Mars will be observed from the side of the Moon. This time the eclipse of Mars coincides with the phase of full Moon and Mars opposition. The eclipse and Mars opposition will also be visible from Armenia.

A Martian eclipse occurs when the Earth and Mars line up with the Sun, and Mars and the Sun (with our planet in the middle) are in opposite positions. At the time of the eclipse, Mars will be about 82 million kilometers from Earth.

According to the Byurakan Observatory, at this position Mars will have the largest possible angular size (17.01 arcseconds (""), for comparison, the minimum size is 3.5", and the diameter of the Moon's disc is 31 arcminutes or 1860" on average) and will be at its brightest for us. ) and will be at its brightest for us. It will be brighter than all the stars, but inferior to Venus and Jupiter.

On these days, Mars is at its minimum distance from Earth (0.5445 hours = 81.6 million km). Because of the stretching of the orbit, Mars has a different distance when returning to the nearest position from Earth, and the absolute minimum reaches 54 million km. At this time, the apparent magnitude of Mars reaches -2.88 m and may be brighter than Jupiter.

During this entire period, Mars and the Moon will be in Taurus in the constellation.

Mars is in opposition about once every 25-26 months. In 2022, December will be the best time to observe Mars. In opposition, Mars will be so well visible that even with a small amateur telescope you can see its Polar Cap.

If Mars comes very close to the Earth (less than 60 million km), then it is called a great confrontation of Mars, which can happen once in 15-17 years.

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