Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Mars' patchwork surface is on full display tonight

Without a global shroud of dust, Mars' striking surface features stand out tonight.
ScreenShot20180925at1.37.05PM
Image by Jake Parks using StarDome.

On Mars, the planet wide dust storm is abating, so surface features are once again within reach of a 6-inch or larger telescope.

During moments of good seeing, Mars resolves into a patchwork of dark and bright markings.

From North America, viewing the Red Planet this evening reveals that Syrtis Major, the darkest feature on Mars, lies near the martian central meridian. The bright Hellas Basin, the planet’s lowest-lying region, sits just south of Syrtis Major. And by month’s end, the dark, fingerlike extension of Mare Cimmerium appears at the center of the disk.

Though Mars rises in the southeast before sunset (around 4:30 p.m. local time), it will remain in the sky well into the night. The Red Planet climbs to its peak in the south by about 9 p.m. and sets in the southwest at around 1:30 a.m.

0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter. View our Privacy Policy.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Apollo_RightRail

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook