The 2016 Opposition of Mars - An Observer's Guide

2016 Opposition of Mars

One of the five bright planets visible to the unaided eye, Mars has perplexed and tantalized stargazers since antiquity. Its ochre hue, a consequence of iron-oxide in its surface sands, prompted classical astronomers to name the planet after the Roman god of war, and its dark and changing surface markings inspired early telescopic astronomers to speculate about the presence of life on the planet. With Mars at opposition this weekend, the coming weeks offer you the best chance in the next two years to see Mars with a small telescope. Here's a guide by's contributing editor Brian Ventrudo to help you get a good view of the Red Planet in 2016.

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Meade LX90 Let FREEdom Ring Sale

Meade Let FREEdom Ring Sale

For a limited time, Meade's poplar LX90 telescopes come with TWO FREE GIFTS!

Purchase ANY LX90, and receive an LXPS 7 Power Supply ($80 value) AND a 1.25" Series 4000 Eyepiece & Filter Set ($190 value) absolutely free.

Offer ends June 30th

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Celestron Astronomy Day Promotion Ending Soon

Celestron Nexstar Evolution Sale

Just a quick reminder that Celestron's promotion on their very popular Evolution SCT telescopes ends tomorrow. Hurry and save up to $200 on all three Evo sizes (6", 8", and 9.25").

Offer ends May 22nd

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New Products At Agena

  • Baader 1.25" and 2" double polarization filters
  • Celestron Echelon astronomy binoculars (3 sizes)
  • Cosmo Laser star pointer for smartphones
  • Optolong S-II narrowband imaging filters (31 and 36mm sizes)
  • Optolong H-alpha 7nm narrowband imaging filter (36mm)
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New Products Coming Soon

  • Baader 1.25" and 2" single polarization filters for Herschel wedge
  • FarPoint Bahtinov masks (3 new sizes)
  • Vixen Tall and Tall+ Porta II mounts
  • Vixen accessories (finder, flip mirror, dovetail bases, and more)
  • ZWO accessories (Atmospheric dispersion corrector, windors, adapters, mounts, and more)