Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

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Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » May 2nd, 2018, 4:09 pm

Sky & Telescope some time back created a Profiler tool that allows a potential viewer to acquire position angle, elongation, angular diameter and illumination for Mars. (If some terms are unfamiliar they are explained.)

The Mars Profiler tool:
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observin ... s-visible/

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » May 5th, 2018, 5:41 pm

Amy, Trey and I viewed Mars this morning during twilight. Even at this point in the Opposition the image was astounding. A large dark area (probably Syrtis Major and Tyrrhena Terra) could easily be spied. And we've over two months of increasing angular size!

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » May 12th, 2018, 5:32 pm

The next Science Academy session is brand-new. Entitled "Colonizing Mars", it will focus on what is arguably Planet of the Year! As of this posting there are already several slots occupied, and only sixteen kids (ages eight to twelve) can take part. The cost is five dollars per in-parish child and six dollars per out-of-parish child.

More information:
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/programs/special2.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » May 14th, 2018, 9:17 am

At 6:41pm CDT today (while below the horizon), Mars crosses from Sagittarius into Capricornus. Mars rises tomorrow morning at 12:34am CDT. Although it was at its closest to M75 this morning, it's still within a half-degree at 1:59am when it'll be fifteen degrees up.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » June 11th, 2018, 12:03 pm

The cooperative space adventure game Mission Critical: Mars has a 2016 copyright date. To commemorate the historical Opposition, a BRAS member is allowing his copy to be played by the Science Academy Cadets during the 14 July session ("Summer Day") and the 21 July session ("Mars"). Another copy of the game will emerge into the HRPO Wormhole no later that 19 June.

Mission Critical: Mars was created by...
https://www.quartoknows.com/SmartLabToys

About the Wormhole...
http://hrpo.lsu.edu/observatory/wormhole_donations.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » July 19th, 2018, 5:12 pm

It is such a shame that a giant dust storm has to expand to cover virtually every crack and crevasse of the Martian landscape...
https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astrono ... torm-2018/

However, HRPO's plans for a 26 July showcase is still standing. Even if the storm doesn't clear up by then, there will be several other celestial targets. Also, if the storms clears as we leave Mars behind in orbital motion, it creates a perfect reason to keep inviting patrons back for more Mars viewing!

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » July 26th, 2018, 2:29 pm

Are you ready to visit? Below is tonight's schedule for the Great Martian Opposition. This schedule's supercedes all previous incarnations of the schedule.
6:30pm to 8pm = "Walk to Mars" Activity [outside]
6:30pm to 8pm = "Orbital Exchange" Activity [outside]
6:45pm to 7pm = "Color Ball" Demonstration [large dome]
6:45pm to 9:45pm = "Supply Run" Activity / "Build-a-Base" Activity / Physical Science Demonstrations [main floor]
7:30pm to 11:30pm = "Ambassador to Mars" Search Game [main floor]
7:45pm to 8:15pm = Mercury viewing [outside]
8pm to 9:30pm = Venus viewing [outside]
9pm to 12:30am = Waxing Gibbous Moon viewing [outside]
9:04pm to 9:09pm = predicted visible pass of USA 186 (magnitude 2.3) [outside]
9:17pm to 9:21pm = predicted visible pass of Tiangong 2 (magnitude 1.4) [outside]
9:25pm to 9:34pm = predicted visible pass of Cosmos 2297 rocket (magnitude 2.1) [outside]
9:29pm to 9:33pm = predicted visible pass of Cosmos 2098 rocket (magnitude 2.0) [outside]
9:30pm to 11:30pm = Jupiter viewing [outside]
9:30pm to 12:30am = Mars viewing [outside]
9:38pm to 9:44pm = predicted visible pass of Cosmos 1825 (magnitude 2.2) [outside]
9:40pm to 9:49pm = predicted visible pass of Cosmos 2227 rocket (magnitude 2.5) [outside]
10pm to 12am = Mars viewing [large dome]
10pm to 12:30am = Saturn viewing [outside]
11:30pm to 12:30am = Neptune viewing [outside]

Costs:
binocular checkout = $0
telescope viewing = $0
Chess Power-Up Donation Rewards = $0.25 to $2.25
City Gelato = $4.00 to $7.00 (depending on size)
Science Academy Registration = $5.00 to $6.00 (per session)
Glow Goo Mix (each) / Sci-Fi Bookmarks (set of six) = $5.50
HRPO T-shirts = $6.25 (various colors)
Lunar 100 Card Map = $7.75
Mini Die Cast Shuttle = $8.00
Galaxy Night Light = $9.25
Estes Gnome Chemical Rocket = $9.75
Prorated BRAS Membership = $10.00 (through December 2018)
Metal Earth Beach Buggy / Golden Gate Bridge / Cable Car
/ Space Shuttle Atlantis / UH-1 Huey / Wright Brothers Airplane = $11.00
Full Size Diecast Shuttle = $12.75
Quest Viper Chemical Rocket = $14.00
Metal Earth Graf Zeppelin = $16.50
Star Wheel Sky Map = $17.75
Back2Back Solitaire Game = $18.75
HRPO grounds will be closed to the public at 12:30am.

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » August 22nd, 2018, 10:29 pm

HRPO had over 200 visitors for the Great Martian Apparition. The sky cover was predicted to be sixty-five percent, and the rain chance twenty-five percent, so that's a fair turnout for such a poor forecast.

There's still plenty of time to see Mars during this opposition. The Yellow Planet (that's what it is until that storm clears) will remain larger than 21" until Friday the 31st, and brighter than -2.0 until 6 September. Don't waste the time we have!

Christopher K.
Posts: 4374
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Great Martian Apparition of 2018-2019

Post by Christopher K. » September 26th, 2018, 1:57 pm

It been rather rainy a large portion of the last few weeks, but do not be dissuaded from continuing to view Mars. Mars remains larger than 15" through 6 October, and brighter than -1.0 through 16 October.

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