We’re not too far away now from the 2020 Mars opposition which will occur on October 13th where it will be just over 22 arc seconds in apparent size and shine at magnitude ~-2.6. Unlike other recent oppositions, Mars will be higher in the sky at ~40 degrees altitude from the UK so that will help with viewing/imaging the planet.
To view or image Mars and its features you need a telescope 3-4 inch aperture and above, and use a magnification of ~150x +. There is a very good article where you can read about Mars’ opposition this year on the Sky at Night magazine website. The image below shows a simulated view of Mars through a 6″ SCT at just over 200x magnification.
We’ve put together a list of some Baader accessories that you may find useful for viewing or imaging this upcoming event.
Baader Orthoscopic eyepieces – ideal for observing Mars and a favourite amongst Lunar and planetary observers.
Baader Hyperion eyepieces – A range of long (20-22mm) eye relief 68° apparent field of view eyepieces ideal for Lunar and planetary viewing. You can also directly couple cameras (with optional adaptors) for projection imaging to capture this upcoming opposition.
Baader Q-Turret – a handy four eyepiece revolver to save you having to remove and replace eyepieces to get different magnification views. Available on its own for you to use with your own eyepieces or as a set with 4 eyepieces and a barlow. Read more about it here.
Baader coloured filters and filtersets – to help subtly improve the contrast of Martian features. Read our recent blog on use of these filters for Mars opposition. The filters are available as a 1.25″ or 2″ set or individually.
Baader Neodymium (Moon and Skyglow) – helps to improve contrast so that surface detail on Mars is more prominent. The filter also blocks most from street lighting and light pollution known as “skyglow“.
For those into planetary imaging:
Baader Flip Mirror II is a very versatile useful accessory to help you locate Mars in your field of view and be able to centre the planet on the small imaging sensor of a Solar system imaging device. Uses Baader Astro-T2 system for wide range of telescope, camera and eyepiece connectivity.
Baader IR-Pass filter – longer wavelengths are not affected as much with seeing so Baader’s (long wavelength) IR Pass filter is useful for Mars as well as Lunar and (other) planetary imaging sessions.