In honor of Mars making its closest approach since 2003 Mars Star Parties at Wagman Observatory have been added to the AAAP Star Party Schedule on Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28, 2018, 8:45 PM. The Mars 2018 close approach inspires us to offer a special opportunity to see features of the Martian surface such as light and dark areas, streaks and lines. We are hoping the clouds on both planets cooperate. Just as we have had a rainy/cloudy summer here, a massive dust storm has broken out on Mars. We look forward to clear skies and seeing you and Mars at Wagman Observatory, 225 Kurn Rd, Tarentum, PA 15084 – Phone: (724) 224-2510, June 27 and 28, 8:45 PM. Free and open to the public. Donations greatly appreciated.
Note: Mars 2018 opposition occurs on July 27. Mars will reach its closest approach to Earth at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT) on July 31. The Red Planet will also be at its brightest since 2003, when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in almost 60,000 years. Mars at its 2018 opposition will be 35.8 million miles (57.6 million km) away and will have nearly doubled in brightness since June 26. These close approaches occur on a 26 month cycle. Currently, Mars is brighter than it has been in 15 years!