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Moon/Mars Aberations
July 17, 2003

From the thread Apparent Moon-Mars 'Collison' on sci.astro.amateur Usenet.

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Hey, if anyone is still up, look out to the south...if you have clear skies. The moon is rapidly closing on Mars....from 42 N Lat, 80 W. longitude, they are currently (0630 GMT) only 0.5 degree apart....I believe Mars gets occulted by the Moon farther south, in just a few hours from now....maybe sooner. From our latitude, looks like the moon will miss by 0.25 degree south of Mars.
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Nice Pict Dave... that's just the way it looks right now (0800 GMT) out my back window, due south.. Mars is about 0.2 degree sitting on top of the waning gibbous moon.... Cool (and fairly rare) sight, even naked-eye.

Both photos show Mars above and to the left of the Moon.

Message-ID: <xCsRa.9698$>
I lucked out. While the Los Angeles area was getting cloudier today, with a little rain out by the beach, it has cleared up and I was able to image the event around 1220am.
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Here's how it looked in Wisconsin... (Canon 10d w/ Tak FS-102)

There are several discrepancies to where it was anticipated to be by:

1. SkyMap program, based on stable and well documented orbits

2. Astronomy magazine

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By the way, Astronomy magazine said the moon would pass 0.3 degrees NORTH of Mars. 'Taint what I aw. The moon might have eventually moved farther north than Mars, but not while they were close together, or at the time Astronomy specified, 4:00A.M. My guess is that the moon was (from its center) about 0.4-0.5 degrees SOUTH of Mars (viewed from southern Indiana) at closest point. In a 100x eyepiece I could see Mars and most of the moon. The Martian disc easily showed the polar cap and some surface features in that view. I wish I could have photographed it.