The Top 10 Telescopes for Mars Opposition
Mars is making a special appearance in 2018! The Red Planet will shine brighter and in much more detail through the lens of a backyard telescope than it has since 2003!
It is estimated that Mars won't be this close to earth again until 2035, so to make sure you don't miss this exciting event, we've put together a great guide on the Top 10 Telescopes, ideal for viewing the 2018 Mars Opposition (and much more!)
First, let's talk a bit about what this opposition entails...
The close "rendez-vous" of Earth and Mars is called an opposition because Mars is opposite the sun in Earth's sky at those times. When opposition occurs, Mars will rise as the sun sets, making it a bright, all-night target for skywatchers. So bright, that between July 7 and September 6, Mars will take Jupiter's place on the night sky podium as the third brightest object in the night sky (next to the moon and venus)
Although opposition occurs on July 27, Mars' closest approach to Earth will be on July 31 and will be at a distance of 35.8 million miles! Mars will reach its highest point around midnight- about 35 degrees above the southern horizon, or one-third of the distance between the horizon and overhead. Mars will be visible for much of the night.
YOU WON'T MISS A THING WITH THESE TOP 10 TELESCOPES, PERFECT FOR THE MARS OPPOSITION...
The easy to use and portable Meade LX600 increases total brightness using their top-of-the-line optical design. This Telescope is similar to what professionals use, yet remains within reach of amateur astronomers everywhere! In addition to quality optics, it also integrates a unique star tracking and object finding system in the Telescope mount which allows the telescope to center your target perfectly in the field of view. Once centered, the star tracking system communicates directly with the motor drive to automatically ensure your scope stays precisely locked onto its target.
The Celestron CGX-L 11" Schmidt-Cassegrain CGX-L produces exceptionally sharp images and is ideal for both planetary imaging and observing. For objects near the Meridian (imaginary line passing from North to South) the Celestron CGX-L mount will track a full 20 degrees past the Meridian for precise and uninterrupted imaging. This Telescope's powerful optics acts as a light bucket and will have you in awe from the images of Mars it will produce.
The Celestron CGEM-II 926 EdgeHD Telescope will make sure you get the most from your optics not just during Mars Opposition, but each and every night. This Telescope's performance says it all in the name... HD, and will give you over 1000 times the light gathering power than the unaided eye across the widest visual and photographic spectrum!
The Meade LX85 8" ACF Telescope is equipped with skillfully engineered optics, bringing you high contrast images with optimal surface details on planets, including Mars. Also equipped with high-quality, portable, GoTo, German Equatorial Mount this Telescope is the perfect choice for the experienced observer and the amateur astro-imager looking to chase objects in the night sky! The Meade LX85 8" ACF will keep you looking up for many years to come and sets a standard for mid-sized telescopes at a great price!
The small and portable OOUK OMC140 Maksutov Cassegrain boasts the best performing optics of its kind and will leave you with detailed and high-contrast planetary images. This Telescope produces the best image possible for its aperture, ideal for visual use for both novice and experienced astronomers.
The Explore Scientific FirstLight 152mm MAK is ideal for beginner and seasoned astronomers who want a portable, yet powerful telescope that is able to achieve high magnifications in addition to detailed and high contrast observations of the planets.
This MAK's multi-coated optics coupled with its rigid, yet portable, GoTo German Equatorial Mount will have astroimagers of all levels on their way to chasing celestial objects at a great price! the LX85 6” Maksutov-Cassegrain’s sturdy GoTo Mount will handle up to 33lbs of observing equipment, including an array of different optical tubes, while the sturdy build and low-cog servo motors ensures smooth tracking performance.
The Sky-Watcher 180mm Maksutov-Cassegrain optical design is ideal for high-contrast planetary observing and imaging. It produces high-resolution sharp images with high contrast. The optical elements are fully multi-coated to further enhance the image contrast. The aperture of this scope is 180 mm or just over 7-inches for extra light gathering capacity, meaning you will get brighter and sharper images.
The Meade StarNavigator Next Generation MAK provides everything a beginner needs to start observing in one place. This simple to use and powerful Telescope provides an easy pathway to access GoTo capable instruments (which will find and track celestial objects for you) at an affordable price!
This Celestron Astro Fi MAK's optics will offer dazzling views of planetary surface details, and will surely exceed your expectations for not only Mars Opposition but many other views such as the craters on the Moon, the rings of Saturn, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and much more. This Telescope is ideal for beginners dipping their toes in the vast world of astronomy, and for those interested in a simpler astronomy experience!