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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2005

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Mars, Kelsey Boer and Josh Claypool

Mars

Mars is very commonly referred to as the red planet. It has been observed since prehistoric times with both the naked eye and very large telescopes. Mars is a difficult astronomical target because it is simply so small. Its orbit is largely an elliptical one. The average surface temperature of Mars is 218K (-55 C, -67 F)

Mars is characterized by very unique, interesting terrain. Mars has the largest mountain in our solar system located on its surface. Olympus Mons rises over 78,000 feet above the planets surface. The planet is covered with very old craters and canyons, however there are also many younger rifts valleys, ridges, hills and plains. This particular image shows the largest canyon in our solar system, Valles Marineris, on the left, middle region of the planet.(although not visible) The dark region in the middle of the image shows the Margaritifer Terra which is a region of the planet that is covered with craters.

The calculation for the linear diameter of Mars is 6.8 million meters. Although we are viewing Mars from a very great distance it is still possible to see many of the planet's features. The image shows Mars to be a reddish, orange color. Mars' reddish hue is a result of airborne dust. The different colors on the surface of Mars is due to the differing landscapes and terrains on the planet's surface. The darker colored regions are where canyons, and craters are located, whereas the reddish areas are the areas affected by dust.

References:

Nine Planets

Bennet, Cosmic Perspective

Right Ascension 3:11:09
Declination 16:29:04
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R)
Exposure time per filter R:50x .3sec, B:50x .3 sec, V:50x .1 sec.
Date observed

October 23, 2005 (BVR)