Mars is one of several observable planets in the night sky. The reddish planet shines brightly adjacent to the constellation Leo. Take a look at your Planisphere or the online Solar System Scope to find the location and time that Mars and the constellation Leo are visible on a clear night in your night sky. See 3/9/12 post below for a suggestion on how to best use the Solar System Scope.
The Constellation Leo
This photo was obtained from a scientific blog on 3/21/12, where you will also find other information about the constellation, its stars and deep sky objects.
An asterism, a recognizable shape found within a constellation, exists in Leo: the Sickle. The sickle in Leo is one of the most famous star patterns found in springtime, forming the head and mane of the lion. Alpha Leo, called Regulus, sits at the base of the Sickle, the heart of the lion, and is the brightest star in Leo. You will also be able to easily find beta Leo, another bright star called Denebola that is the tail of the lion.
The Planet Mars
Here is an image from the Viking 1 mission (1975-1981).
For more information on the Viking 1 and 2 missions visit NASA’s website on the Viking Missions.
Here is an image from 1999. Four views of the planet with caption provided.
Other Mars photos and information you might enjoy:
- Take a look at this NASA video “Mars in Minute: How do you get to Mars?” While your on that webpage, check out a few other videos that interest you as well.
- Here are photos from NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
- Look for more information here about the latest Mars Mission.
Photo Source: The photos above are found on NASA’s Photo Gallery webpage for Mars.