December 9 Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2022 December 9

Mars Rises above the Lunar Limb

Image Credit & CopyrightTom Glenn

Explanation: On the night of December 7 Mars wandered near the Full Moon. In fact the Red Planet was occulted, passing behind the Moon, when viewed from locations across Europe and North America. About an hour after disappearing behind the lunar disk Mars reappears in this stack of sharp video frames captured from San Diego, planet Earth. With the Moon in the foreground Mars was a mere 82 million kilometers distant, near its own opposition. Full Moon and full Mars were bright enough provide the spectacular image with no exposure adjustments necessary. In the image Mars appears to rise just over ancient, dark-floored, lunar crater Abel very close to the southeastern edge of the Moon’s near side. Humboldt is the large impact crater to its north (left).