Astronomy Picture of the Day

Z is for Mars

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#85960 by @ 23.04.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Z is for Mars


This composite of images spaced about a week apart -
from late July 2005 (bottom right) through February 2006
(top left) - traces the
retrograde motion
of ruddy-colored Mars through planet
night sky

On November 7th, 2005 the Red Planet was
opposite the Sun in Earth's sky
(at opposition).

That date occurred at the center of this series with Mars near its
closest and brightest.

But Mars
didn't actually reverse the direction of its orbit
trace out
the Z-shape.

Instead, the apparent backwards or retrograde motion with
respect to the background stars is a
reflection of the motion of the Earth itself.

Retrograde motion
can be seen
each time Earth overtakes
and laps planets orbiting farther from the Sun, the
Earth moving more rapidly through its own relatively close-in orbit.

The familiar Pleiades star cluster
lies at the upper left.

Credit & Copyright
#85961 by @ 23.04.2006 01:35 - nach oben -
hä-hä bräää
#85962 by @ 23.04.2006 01:36 - nach oben -
aber di eckigä chlamere händs nonig so im griff
#86020 by @ 24.04.2006 23:49 - nach oben -
immerhin loht d'barbara mol dureschimmere, wie wiit sie sich bi de nasa scho ufegschlofe het. i denkes ime johr oder so bringt sie au eggigi chlammere und es sternbild "zorg" ane.