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Retrograde Motion of Mars 2020

The video, above, shows why Mars “goes retrograde.” Basically, Earth is lapping Mars in a two-way race around the sun. Our planet is faster, so Mars seems to go backwards during the weeks of closest approach.

Music by Bernard Herrmann from the film Fahrenheit 451

Comet NEOWISE one hour after sunset on July 27, 2020.

Very difficult to find on this camera image. Reports indicate it is around 4th magnitude on this date.

Comet NEOWISE one hour after sunset on July 19, 2020.

I will try to stay with 20 second exposures for this comet. You have to use averted vision to see the comet with the naked-eye. But tonight, I just couldn’t see it, and the comet is higher in the sky!

Comet NEOWISE one hour after sunset on July 16, 2020.

I will try to stay with 20 second exposures for this comet. You have to use averted vision to see the comet with the naked-eye.

Comet NEOWISE one hour after sunset on July 15, 2020.

Very hard to see with the naked-eye, but if you keep the camera open for 20 seconds, then you have a different story!

Comet NEOWISE July 14th, 2020 – morning

25 second exposure with a Canon camera with a 50 mm lens. The comet is fading. I would estimate it to be 2.5 to 3 in apparent magnitude to the naked-eye! The comet will get higher in the evening sky as the days progress towards the northwest, but at the same time, day-by-day, it is fading!

Comet NEOWISE July 07th, 2020 – morning  45 minutes before sunrise.

Venus fell back into the morning sky soon after reaching inferior conjunction on June 3rd, 2020. This animation covers from June 10th, 2020, until February 5th, 2021. Venus will be at greatest elongation west on August 13th. As you can see, Venus will be at its highest or farthest from the horizon in the first week of September. Afterward, it will slowly go back down until it disappears during the first week in February. Venus will reach superior conjunction on March 25th, 2021.

Oh yes, don’t forget to watch Mercury loop twice above the horizon this year. Also, I left the Moon out of the video. Moves by too quickly in this scene!