There goes Mars!
Back on October
28, 2005, the Physics Photo
of the Week featured "Here
Comes Mars". In that
photo, Mars was shown along with the Pleiades, Aldebaran, and the stars
in Aries. Another photo is shown at the left taken later in the
season last fall. The similar photo below was taken by Robin
Gallagher during Astronomy class on November 18. The "glow" in
Robin's photo is the light pollution caused by both the campus lights
and lights in nearby Swannanoa.
The word "planet" comes from
Greek word for "wanderer" because the planets "wander" among the
stars. See if you can see the position difference in these two
images. It is quite difficult because the images are taken at
different scales and the camera is oriented differently to the sky for
the two images.
A "quiz" was presented in the October
PPOW in which the reader is asked how Mars' position among the
stars changes as the season progresses. As a
hint: all the planets orbit the sun towards the celestial east.
the outer planets (those further from the sun than the earth) appear
further east in the celestial sphere on successive orbital
appearances. The earth also orbits the sun towards the
east. The reader is asked to predict the apparent position of
Mars among the stars if it is observed
every two weeks or so throughout the season.
The answer to the quiz and an animation is shown on the following page.
Photo of the
published weekly during the academic year on Fridays by the Warren
Wilson College Physics
Department. These photos feature an interesting phenomena in
the world around us. Students, faculty, and others are invited to
submit digital (or film) photographs for publication and
explanation. Atmospheric phenomena are especially welcome.
Please send any photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to see the Physics Photo of
the Week Archive.
Observers are invited to submit digital photos to: