Incredible Images of Mars from Earth

What did you do during your summer this year? Award-winning astrophotographer Damian Peach spent much of his 2016 summer capturing incredibly clear images of Mars during opposition, when the Red Planet was closest to Earth. Peach has now compiled a wonderful “rotating planet” movie of images taken between June 4th – 18th, 2016, showing amazing detail of the planet.

At its closest point this year, Mars was about 46.8 million miles (75.3 million kilometers) from Earth.

Peach’s astrophotography truly sets “a new standard” as one commenter said, and Peach just won another prize in the “Planets, Comets & Asteroids” division of the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016, awarded at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England last night.

Peach has said this summer held “excellent seeing,” both from his home in the UK and from a photography trip to Barbados. He even captured a fleeting localized dust storm on Mars during mid-June over Mare Erythraeum, one of the prominent dark areas on the planet that were once thought to be seas. In the image below of the dust storm, Peach also pointed out the “linear cloud streak in the southern hemisphere – clearly those Martian flying saucer pilots have been having fun!”

Images of Mars from Earth on Jun 15, 2016. Credit and copyright: Damian Peach.
Images of Mars from Earth on Jun 15, 2016. Credit and copyright: Damian Peach.

See more of Peach’s excellent astrophotography work at his website , or on Twitter. See a larger version of the lead image here.

Mars is still visible in the night sky, but if you missed seeing this planet at its brightest in 2016, the next time Mars will be at opposition will be in 2018, with close approach on July 31, 2018.

One Reply to “Incredible Images of Mars from Earth”

  1. Okay…that’s it! I’m buying that new1/14th wave secondary mirror I’ve been wanting. The one I’ve been using I cut/made from an old lab. flat and it’s pretty scratched up. It worked fine for initial testing and works well with dim objects, but bright objects like Mars at conjunction, not so good. Got spider legs? My 12 1/2″ f3.6 REALLY shows ANY mirror misalignment or degradation, or so I’ve learned. Higher focal lengths are a must for good planetary unless your scope is perfectly collimated and your optics top end? Sheesh… Now I’ve got to wait a couple years to see Mars close up and personal…

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