** Back to HOU Explorations **


The Red Planet

Approaching Opposition 2003


HOU Distance to Mars Project: Many images of Mars were taken up to opposition and afterwards.  You can download  Mars .fts images here. Investigate these images with image processing software.  Measure the diameter in pixels of each Mars image with slice. For these images, taken with the Apogee AP7p CCD on the Univ. of Chicago Yerkes 24 inch telescope, the pixel scale is 0.62"/pixel.   Go to the Planet Fact Sheet for Mars to find the diameter of Mars  in km.  Using  the small angle formula, compute the distance to Mars on each of the observation dates. Explain the relationship between the angular size of Mars and its distance from Earth based on your analysis.

Hubble Heritage Mars Near Opposition 1995-2005: http://heritage.stsci.edu/2005/34/index.html

Hubble Heritage Mars 2001 Opposition: http://heritage.stsci.edu/2001/24/index.html

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, try Solar System Simulator: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/solar_system/


GSFC Planet Fact Sheets: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/planetfact.html

JPL Solar System:  http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/solar_system/index.cfm

Mars Info: http://imaginemars.jpl.nasa.gov/info/

Mars Activity Book: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/classroom/pdfs/MSIP-MarsActivities.pdf

More sites to help you plan and interpret Mars observations:

JPL Horizons to generate an ephemeris for an observing session.  Yerkes location code is 754. http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi

CalSkyhttp://www.calsky.com/cs.cgi?  Yerkes Longitude: -88.557 Latitude: 42.57

This page was initiated by Robbie Merrill, Ohio Northern University, while working at Yerkes Observatory, summer 2003, and updated by Vivian Hoette.  November 22, 2007

Back to Explorations