2018, February 10: Mars-Antares Conjunction


During early 2018,  Mars rambles eastward among the stars, growing nearly 40% in brightness.  On the morning of February 10, Mars passes 5 degrees from the star Antares.  Jupiter is 17 degrees to the upper right of Mars and the waning crescent moon is 14 degrees to the lower left. (Mars passes  Jupiter on January 7.) Mars is the Roman name for this planet.  The Greeks called it Ares.  Antares is sometimes called the “Rival of Mars.”  When both are in the sky they resemble each other in brightness and color.  Another way to consider this is the prefix “Ant,”  sometimes meaning against: Antares = Against Mars.  Yet another way is to think that “Ant” can be replaced with “Not:” Not Mars.  This star is Antares, not Mars; it’s not Mars.

The articles that follow provide details about the planets visible without optical assistance (binoculars or telescope):

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