Mars, Saturn, and the Milky Way

By: Tunc Tezel


Region: Middle East

Site: Mount Uludag - Turkey

Date: 2016 May 1; 2015 May 20

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As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, a celestial triangle of Mars (brightest), Saturn, and Antares (the brightest star in Scorpius) appears in the center of this image taken near Mt Uludag of Turkey in spring 2016. From the photographer :"With the beginning of April, Mars had drifted far east enough to come as little as 8 degrees from Saturn. And the pair kept that 8-degree distance for the whole month, appearing next to the rising bulge of the Milky Way. On the last evening of April, I drove up to peaks ridge near Fatin Peak (elv. 2035 m) in Uludag NP near Bursa. Thankfully there was some snow remaining, especially on one of the higher peaks, Zirvetepe, rising as much as 2486 m. Apart from the bright pair of planets and the rising Milky Way, it was clear and dark enough to see the Gegenschein in Libra."
Click the constellation icon above the image to see a May 2015 image of the same scene where Saturn, a year earlier, was sitting in the same area of the sky (due to its slow motion against stars) while Mars is totally out of the frame. It can also be seen that the mountain had more snow in 2015. Tunc Tezel

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