Can You See The Surface of Mars with a Telescope?

Can You See The Surface of Mars with a Telescope?

The answer is yes. While we cannot see the surface of Mars with just a telescope, we can see different features on it’s surface.
The best time to look at Mars is during the opposition.

In the year 2022, there will be two opportunities, on December 1th and on December 8th. Keep an eye out for this date,(check table below) and you will be able to see the planet’s surface with your telescope!

How to see Mars through a telescope (Fast tips)

Mars is one of the closest planets to Earth. It is so close that it can even be seen without a telescope. But with the telescope, you can see the ice caps and the craters on Mars caused by meteors and volcanoes. Depending on how big a telescope you have (of course).

Few quick steps to see Mars:

Step 1) Find a safe location without any other light sources near you, like street lamps or porch lights.

Step 2) Choose an evening with clear, stable air…

Step 3) Use a telescope with at least a 10-inch aperture and make sure it has an eyepiece with at least 100x magnification and 600x magnification. Remember that lower magnifications will show more details than higher ones, so use your judgment on what’s best for you.

Step 4) Point the telescope to Mars and find its location in the sky.

Step 5) If you are a beginner, don’t worry! You’ll get better at it quickly. Just try it again tomorrow, and you should be able to do a bit better now that you know what to expect.

Step 6) Don’t rush; enjoy the view of the red planet.

f Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars
Here is a view of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars. It combines two images acquired on Nov. 20, 2016, by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with brightness adjusted separately for Earth and the moon to show details on both bodies.

A Brief Introduction to planet Mars

Mars is the fourth planet to orbit our sun and the second-smallest in our solar system. It has a surface made up of red dirt and craters.


We know that Mars is about half as big as Earth. It has an atmosphere that’s 100 times thinner than Earth’s., which means it has too little air to breathe. The planet also has a thin layer of ice at its poles, which sometimes melts during summertime, but quickly refreezes in wintertime.


Mars also has two small moons called Phobos and Deimos. They are both tiny with only one-sixth of Earth’s gravity, so they don’t have much air either if they had any at all!

What is the Atmosphere on Mars?

The atmosphere on Mars is different from Earth’s atmosphere, but there are many parallels.
Mars’ atmosphere is thin and cold, with about 1% of Earth’s pressure. It includes mainly carbon dioxide 95% and argon gas. The atmosphere also contains small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and noble gases.


Mars’ surface air pressure has changed over the years, but it is now comparable to Earth’s. Temperature changes also change the atmospheric pressure on Mars.


Scientists have watched this thin Martian atmosphere since the 1970s through various ways, including satellite observations and data from probes that have landed on Mars’ surface.

Mars Opposition (table with years)

Earth and Mars orbit each other, which means they are never in alignment for a long time. The 2 planets are both orbited by the sun, meaning that Earth has to wait until Mars is on the other side of its orbit before it ends up passing by. This event happens about every 2 years and 2 months, but it may not be for another 3 years due to their respective orbits.
In this list, you can check how close Mars is right now:

      
YearMonthDayAUKilometresMag
1899Jan18651.71597 495 000-1.3
1901Feb22677.492101 351 000-1.2
1903Mar29640.36495 797 000-1.4
1905May8542.39081 140 000-1.9
1907Jul6410.83361 460 000-2.6
1909Sep24391.81558 615 000-2.8
1911Nov25516.94377 334 000-2.1
1914Jan5624.71693 456 000-1.5
1916Feb10674.904100 964 000-1.2
1918Mar15662.41499 096 000-1.3
1920Apr21587.69187 917 000-1.6
1922Jun10461.70169 069 000-2.3
1924Aug23372.86955 780 000-2.9
1926Nov4464.70769 519 000-2.4
1928Dec21588.79488 082 000-1.7
1931Jan27662.68999 137 000-1.3
1933Mar1674.936100 969 000-1.2
1935Apr6624.18393 376 000-1.5
1937May19514.68476 996 000-2.0
1939Jul23389.30058 238 000-2.8
1941Oct10414.54362 015 000-2.6
1943Dec5544.62681 475 000-1.9
1946Jan13640.85295 870 000-1.4
1948Feb17677.580101 365 000-1.2
1950Mar23651.44497 455 000-1.3
1952May1563.60884 315 000-1.8
1954Jun24432.44364 692 000-2.5
1956Sep10379.04756 705 000-2.9
1958Nov16493.71673 859 000-2.2
1960Dec30609.76691 220 000-1.5
1963Feb4670.659100 329 000-1.2
1965Mar9669.194100 110 000-1.3
1967Apr15605.20990 538 000-1.6
1969May31485.71672 662 000-2.2
1971Aug10375.91256 236 000-2.9
1973Oct25441.38566 030 000-2.5
1975Dec15569.96785 266 000-1.8
1978Jan21654.10497 853 000-1.3
1980Feb25677.432101 342 000-1.2
1982Mar31637.59995 383 000-1.4
1984May11537.38080 391 000-1.9
1986Jul10406.43860 802 000-2.6
1988Sep28395.79559 210 000-2.8
1990Nov27522.55478 173 000-2.0
1993Jan7628.17193 973 000-1.5
1995Feb12675.722101 087 000-1.2
1997Mar17660.61898 827 000-1.3
1999Apr24583.31687 263 000-1.7
2001Jun13455.82068 190 000-2.4
2003Aug28372.82455 774 000-2.9
2005Nov7470.06870 321 000-2.3
2007Dec24592.99388 711 000-1.6
2010Jan29664.43799 398 000-1.3
2012Mar3674.082100 841 000-1.2
2014Apr8620.87892 882 000-1.5
2016May22509.42176 208 000-2.1
2018Jul27386.12857 764 000-2.8
2020Oct13419.25262 719 000-2.6
2022Dec8549.51782 207 000-1.9
2025Jan16643.64296 288 000-1.4
2027Feb19677.933101 417 000-1.2
2029Mar25649.11497 106 000-1.3
2031May4558.90683 611 000-1.8
2033Jun27427.31863 926 000-2.5
2035Sep15381.63757 092 000-2.8
2037Nov19499.54174 730 000-2.2
2040Jan2613.64491 800 000-1.5
2042Feb6671.898100 515 000-1.2
2044Mar11667.90699 917 000-1.3
2046Apr17601.27189 949 000-1.6
2048Jun3479.82071 780 000-2.2
2050Aug14374.14855 972 000-2.9
2052Oct28446.50466 796 000-2.5
2054Dec17574.44485 936 000-1.7
2057Jan24656.31098 183 000-1.3
2059Feb27676.988101 276 000-1.2
2061Apr2634.65394 943 000-1.4
2063May14532.37679 642 000-1.9
2065Jul13402.14460 160 000-2.7
2067Oct2399.64159 785 000-2.7
2069Nov30527.74078 949 000-2.0
2072Jan11631.30694 442 000-1.4
2074Feb14676.468101 198 000-1.2
2076Mar19658.79798 555 000-1.3
2078Apr27578.94286 609 000-1.7
2080Jun16450.34267 370 000-2.4
2082Sep1373.80855 921 000-2.9
2084Nov10475.91471 196 000-2.3
2086Dec27597.26989 350 000-1.6
2089Jan31666.14999 654 000-1.3
2091Mar6673.211100 711 000-1.2
2093Apr11617.37692 358 000-1.5
2095May26503.73875 358 000-2.1
2097Jul31382.78657 264 000-2.8
2099Oct18423.89463 414 000-2.6
2101Dec11554.31182 924 000-1.8
2104Jan20646.26396 680 000-1.4
2106Feb22677.918101 415 000-1.2
2108Mar28646.60396 731 000-1.4
2110May7554.16682 902 000-1.8
2112Jul2422.32763 179 000-2.5
2114Sep20384.34457 497 000-2.8
2116Nov23504.91075 534 000-2.1
2119Jan5617.13592 322 000-1.5
2121Feb9673.074100 690 000-1.2
2123Mar15666.52299 710 000-1.3
2125Apr20597.26589 350 000-1.6
2127Jun8474.29570 954 000-2.2
2129Aug19373.28955 843 000-2.9
2131Nov2452.21367 650 000-2.4
2133Dec21579.16286 641 000-1.7
2136Jan28658.48998 509 000-1.3
2138Mar2676.551101 211 000-1.2
2140Apr5631.65694 494 000-1.4
2142May18526.95778 832 000-2.0
2144Jul18397.64759 487 000-2.7
2146Oct7403.53960 369 000-2.7
2148Dec3532.76779 701 000-2.0
2151Jan14634.33394 895 000-1.4
2153Feb17676.915101 265 000-1.2
2155Mar23656.66098 235 000-1.3
2157Apr30574.50185 944 000-1.7
2159Jun21445.04366 577 000-2.4
2161Sep6374.98556 097 000-2.9
2163Nov15481.38772 014 000-2.3
2165Dec30601.17989 935 000-1.6
2168Feb4667.74799 893 000-1.3
2170Mar9672.277100 571 000-1.2
2172Apr14613.81891 826 000-1.5
2174May30498.26174 539 000-2.1
2176Aug5380.24456 884 000-2.8
2178Oct22429.26664 217 000-2.6
2180Dec14559.41483 687 000-1.8
2183Jan22648.92797 078 000-1.4
2185Feb24677.927101 416 000-1.2
2187Mar31644.03996 347 000-1.4
2189May10549.07882 141 000-1.9
2191Jul6417.09662 397 000-2.6
2193Sep24387.03757 900 000-2.8
2195Nov26510.10676 311 000-2.1
2198Jan7620.58492 838 000-1.5
2200Feb12674.001100 829 000-1.2
2202Mar18664.80399 453 000-1.3
2204Apr24593.18388 739 000-1.6
2206Jun12468.87570 143 000-2.3
2208Aug24372.78455 768 000-2.9
2210Nov6457.65568 464 000-2.4
2212Dec24583.46387 285 000-1.7
2215Jan31660.50598 810 000-1.3
2217Mar5676.056101 137 000-1.2
2219Apr9628.52894 026 000-1.4
2221May22521.65278 038 000-2.0
2223Jul24393.76358 906 000-2.7
2225Oct11408.18361 063 000-2.7
2227Dec8538.20480 514 000-1.9
2230Jan17637.48795 367 000-1.4
2232Feb21677.388101 336 000-1.2
2234Mar26654.54997 919 000-1.3
2236May3569.82085 244 000-1.7
2238Jun26439.40365 734 000-2.4
2240Sep11376.17056 274 000-2.9
2242Nov18486.64372 801 000-2.2
2245Jan2605.00790 508 000-1.6
2247Feb7669.161100 105 000-1.3
2249Mar12670.981100 377 000-1.2
2251Apr18610.09791 269 000-1.5
2253Jun2492.90773 738 000-2.1
2255Aug11378.06156 557 000-2.8
2257Oct26434.43264 990 000-2.5
2259Dec18564.13184 393 000-1.8
2262Jan25651.36497 443 000-1.3
2264Feb28677.892101 411 000-1.2
2266Apr3641.39195 951 000-1.4
2268May13544.03481 386 000-1.9
2270Jul11412.27161 675 000-2.6
2272Sep29390.57758 429 000-2.8
2274Nov30515.73677 153 000-2.1
2277Jan11624.18593 377 000-1.5
2279Feb15674.972100 974 000-1.2
2281Mar20663.13299 203 000-1.3
2283Apr27588.96088 107 000-1.6
2285Jun15463.16969 289 000-2.3
2287Aug29372.25755 689 000-2.9
2289Nov9462.83169 239 000-2.4
2291Dec27587.71987 921 000-1.7
2294Feb2662.39599 093 000-1.3
2296Mar7675.240101 014 000-1.2
2298Apr11625.23693 534 000-1.5
2300May25516.44777 259 000-2.0
2302Jul29390.16358 368 000-2.8
2304Oct16412.84761 761 000-2.7
2306Dec11543.23781 267 000-1.9
2309Jan20640.30595 788 000-1.4
2311Feb24677.832101 402 000-1.2
2313Mar29652.35597 591 000-1.3
2315May8565.12584 541 000-1.8
Can You See The Surface of Mars with a Telescope? 1
Idea for the diagram
Ian Ridpath: Stars & Planets (2007), page 354
Norsk Astronomisk Selskap: Astronomi (1/2020), page 30

When is Mars closest to Earth(table with years)

Here is a table with exact times when Mars will be closest (Approaches) to our Blue dot.

      
YearMonthDayAUKilometresMag
1899Jan15650.70297 344 000-1.3
1901Feb23677.406101 338 000-1.2
1903Apr3638.01995 446 000-1.4
1905May16536.59080 273 000-1.9
1907Jul13407.56960 971 000-2.6
1909Sep18389.47458 264 000-2.8
1911Nov17511.20776 476 000-2.1
1914Jan1622.44293 116 000-1.5
1916Feb9674.847100 956 000-1.2
1918Mar18661.29498 928 000-1.3
1920Apr28583.05287 223 000-1.6
1922Jun18455.93768 207 000-2.3
1924Aug23372.83855 776 000-2.9
1926Oct27458.83468 641 000-2.4
1928Dec15584.97587 511 000-1.7
1931Jan25662.13799 054 000-1.3
1933Mar3674.598100 918 000-1.2
1935Apr12621.00792 901 000-1.5
1937May28508.52976 075 000-2.0
1939Jul27387.87358 025 000-2.8
1941Oct3410.46261 404 000-2.6
1943Nov28539.45780 702 000-1.9
1946Jan10639.34295 644 000-1.4
1948Feb17677.578101 364 000-1.2
1950Mar27649.70997 195 000-1.3
1952May8558.22983 510 000-1.8
1954Jul2427.78563 996 000-2.5
1956Sep7378.09056 561 000-2.9
1958Nov8487.71072 960 000-2.2
1960Dec25606.81690 778 000-1.5
1963Feb3670.442100 297 000-1.2
1965Mar12668.473100 002 000-1.3
1967Apr21601.20189 938 000-1.6
1969Jun9479.54471 739 000-2.2
1971Aug12375.68456 202 000-2.9
1973Oct17436.03865 230 000-2.5
1975Dec9565.48584 595 000-1.8
1978Jan19653.18697 715 000-1.3
1980Feb26677.310101 324 000-1.2
1982Apr5635.10895 011 000-1.4
1984May19531.45879 505 000-1.9
1986Jul16403.56460 372 000-2.6
1988Sep22393.14158 813 000-2.8
1990Nov20516.92377 331 000-2.0
1993Jan3626.09493 662 000-1.5
1995Feb11675.691101 082 000-1.2
1997Mar20659.37998 642 000-1.3
1999May1578.45286 535 000-1.7
2001Jun21450.16867 344 000-2.4
2003Aug27372.70955 756 000-2.9
2005Oct30464.06669 423 000-2.3
2007Dec19589.34488 165 000-1.6
2010Jan27663.97499 329 000-1.3
2012Mar5673.677100 781 000-1.2
2014Apr14617.55492 385 000-1.5
2016May30503.21475 280 000-2.1
2018Jul31384.95557 588 000-2.8
2020Oct6414.91562 070 000-2.6
2022Dec1544.47281 452 000-1.9
2025Jan12642.27896 083 000-1.4
2027Feb20677.919101 415 000-1.2
2029Mar29647.21796 822 000-1.3
2031May12553.35482 781 000-1.8
2033Jul5423.01763 282 000-2.5
2035Sep11380.39956 907 000-2.8
2037Nov11493.58373 839 000-2.2
2039Dec28610.91791 392 000-1.5
2042Feb5671.739100 491 000-1.2
2044Mar14667.08299 794 000-1.3
2046Apr24597.03689 315 000-1.6
2048Jun12473.66370 859 000-2.2
2050Aug15374.04155 956 000-2.9
2052Oct20440.90865 959 000-2.5
2054Dec11570.14785 293 000-1.7
2057Jan21655.51898 064 000-1.3
2059Feb28676.813101 250 000-1.2
2061Apr7631.98294 543 000-1.4
2063May23526.36778 743 000-1.9
2065Jul19399.58159 776 000-2.7
2067Sep26396.69359 345 000-2.7
2069Nov22522.21178 122 000-2.0
2072Jan6629.38794 155 000-1.4
2074Feb13676.455101 196 000-1.2
2076Mar22657.42398 349 000-1.3
2078May4573.90585 855 000-1.7
2080Jun24444.96766 566 000-2.4
2082Aug30373.55355 883 000-2.9
2084Nov2469.85570 289 000-2.3
2086Dec21593.87088 842 000-1.6
2089Jan30665.77499 598 000-1.3
2091Mar8672.719100 637 000-1.2
2093Apr16613.81091 825 000-1.5
2095Jun3497.46774 420 000-2.1
2097Aug3381.85657 125 000-2.8
2099Oct10419.21862 714 000-2.6
2101Dec4549.41982 192 000-1.8
2104Jan16645.03696 496 000-1.4
2106Feb23677.882101 410 000-1.2
2108Apr1644.55596 424 000-1.4
2110May15548.53982 060 000-1.8
2112Jul9418.33962 583 000-2.5
2114Sep16382.83757 272 000-2.8
2116Nov15499.01974 652 000-2.1
2118Dec31614.58191 940 000-1.5
2121Feb8672.958100 673 000-1.2
2123Mar18665.58299 570 000-1.3
2125Apr27592.82288 685 000-1.6
2127Jun16468.30270 057 000-2.2
2129Aug19373.26555 840 000-2.9
2131Oct25446.44966 788 000-2.4
2133Dec15575.08786 032 000-1.7
2136Jan25657.80098 406 000-1.3
2138Mar3676.319101 176 000-1.2
2140Apr10628.79694 067 000-1.4
2142May26520.87577 922 000-2.0
2144Jul24395.35959 145 000-2.7
2146Sep30400.20559 870 000-2.7
2148Nov26527.36278 892 000-2.0
2151Jan10632.56694 631 000-1.4
2153Feb16676.913101 265 000-1.2
2155Mar27655.15398 010 000-1.3
2157May7569.35085 174 000-1.7
2159Jun30439.90365 809 000-2.4
2161Sep4374.57856 036 000-2.9
2163Nov6475.36571 114 000-2.3
2165Dec24597.92289 448 000-1.6
2168Feb3667.42399 845 000-1.3
2170Mar12671.703100 485 000-1.2
2172Apr20610.07791 266 000-1.5
2174Jun7492.09273 616 000-2.1
2176Aug8379.60256 788 000-2.8
2178Oct14424.26563 469 000-2.6
2180Dec7554.70582 983 000-1.8
2183Jan19647.82196 913 000-1.4
2185Feb25677.867101 407 000-1.2
2187Apr5641.83896 018 000-1.4
2189May18543.33481 282 000-1.9
2191Jul14413.31561 831 000-2.6
2193Sep19385.21357 627 000-2.8
2195Nov18504.32675 446 000-2.1
2198Jan3618.16592 476 000-1.5
2200Feb11673.917100 817 000-1.2
2202Mar21663.76499 298 000-1.3
2204Apr30588.65288 061 000-1.6
2206Jun20463.05169 271 000-2.3
2208Aug24372.78455 768 000-2.9
2210Oct29451.81167 590 000-2.4
2212Dec18579.49886 692 000-1.7
2215Jan28659.87398 716 000-1.3
2217Mar6675.776101 095 000-1.2
2219Apr15625.51093 575 000-1.4
2221May30515.57377 129 000-2.0
2223Jul29391.85158 620 000-2.7
2225Oct5404.44160 504 000-2.7
2227Dec1532.95679 729 000-1.9
2230Jan13635.84795 121 000-1.4
2232Feb21677.388101 336 000-1.2
2234Mar30652.93597 678 000-1.3
2236May11564.57784 460 000-1.7
2238Jul4434.39064 984 000-2.4
2240Sep8375.58356 186 000-2.9
2242Nov10480.64471 903 000-2.2
2244Dec28601.86690 038 000-1.6
2247Feb6668.886100 064 000-1.3
2249Mar15670.341100 282 000-1.2
2251Apr24606.25990 695 000-1.5
2253Jun11486.79072 823 000-2.1
2255Aug13377.64156 494 000-2.8
2257Oct19429.24764 214 000-2.5
2259Dec11559.51983 703 000-1.8
2262Jan22650.32297 287 000-1.3
2264Feb29677.810101 399 000-1.2
2266Apr8639.06895 603 000-1.4
2268May21538.27280 524 000-1.9
2270Jul18408.86661 166 000-2.6
2272Sep23388.34658 096 000-2.8
2274Nov22510.02076 298 000-2.1
2277Jan6621.90293 035 000-1.5
2279Feb14674.911100 965 000-1.2
2281Mar23662.02299 037 000-1.3
2283May4584.31687 412 000-1.6
2285Jun24457.32968 415 000-2.3
2287Aug28372.24255 687 000-2.9
2289Nov1456.94968 359 000-2.4
2291Dec21583.86187 344 000-1.7
2294Jan30661.82899 008 000-1.3
2296Mar8674.913100 966 000-1.2
2298Apr17622.12493 068 000-1.5
2300Jun3510.38676 353 000-2.0
2302Aug2388.64158 140 000-2.8
2304Oct9408.79261 154 000-2.7
2306Dec4538.02580 487 000-1.9
2309Jan16638.74895 555 000-1.4
2311Feb24677.831101 402 000-1.2
2313Apr2650.65097 336 000-1.3
2315May15559.80283 745 000-1.8

Talking about SpaceX to Mars Mision

Well, I have to say few words about it.


SpaceX Mars’ goal is to establish a colony of people on the planet, contributing to humanity’s chances of survival.
SpaceX is a space exploration company, which designs and launches spacecraft such as the Falcon 9 rocket & Dragon spacecraft.

Their first-ever mission was in 2004. The company has grown significantly in such a short time and is now one of the most sought-after companies for private spaceflight. Elon Musk is the CEO, and his ultimate aspiration is to make humans rulers of all planets in our solar system.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, states that “I think it would be cool if we were on Mars because then we would have the best view in the solar system as well as having a gravitational assist from Mars for eventual travel to Jupiter.”

Maybe you are not the person who will go to Mars, but that doesn’t mean that you cant be part of the Mars Society.

Conclusion

Mars has been a subject of speculation and scientific inquiry for centuries, but it was not until 1965 that astronomers first had evidence that Mars had surface markings similar to those found on Earth.

It is now clear that Mars hosts an environmental landscape with extensive surface water, icecaps, and clouds.

The Red Planet is a fascinating place to study, and it has an atmosphere with water vapor that can sometimes be seen. Mars is a desolate place for humans to live, but there are some things we can do if we were able to go there.

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