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Mars red glim

  1. Mar 20, 2012 #1
    Good morning, yesterday night I was out for a walk, and as usual - Venus and Jupiter rose in the West which is pretty hard to miss. But I also knew that Mars would rise in the East. I spotted a red shining point of light in the east and in the hazy city sky I assumed this was Mars. So my question is, was this Mars? And is it identifiable by a red glim or am I completely out sailing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2012 #2
    Things don't rise in the west, they set in the west. Venus and Jupiter (which are currently in conjunction) will be setting in the evening.

    Mars will appear as a bright "red" point of light. It's more of an orange color to the eye than red. Mars is currently in the constellation Leo, the only other bright red star near it at the moment is Arcturus in the constellation Bootes, but mars is markedly brighter than Arcturus (not always, but Mars is currently near opposition so it's the brightest it will appear for the next year).

    I don't know what you mean by "glim" (is that even a word?) but you're correct that mars will be to the east as Venus and Jupiter are setting in the west. Assuming you only saw one bright red point, then it was probably Mars. Any halo or glow surrounding the planet is just due to scattering of light by a hazy atmosphere, which is just water vapor and dust in the air.
  4. Mar 20, 2012 #3
    Thanks for correcting me, I replaced rose with the sun setting for some reason. And yes, I believe that glim is a synonym to shine or light. But this is cool, thank you for replying - now I know :-)
  5. Mar 20, 2012 #4


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    At around midnight, Mars will be very close to overhead. If you are out around 8-9 pm then Mars should be about halfway up in the sky in the East.
  6. Mar 21, 2012 #5
    Something else that has helped me confirm whether a particular object is a planet or star--planets as a rule don't twinkle, while stars usually do. I've been an amateur astronomer for 43 years, and still I find this a useful bit of trivia...
  7. Mar 22, 2012 #6


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    Likewise been into astronomy for as long and I still haven't figured that one out !!! Haha
    Purposely haven't searched google ... Was hoping to figure an explanation other ways but haven't

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