Mars At Daylight Visible At Naked Eye
Taken by Giorgio Rizzarelli on July 6, 2018 @ Trieste, Italy
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These photos try to convey my satisfaction of seeing Mars at daylight at naked eye, and to encourage others to do it. The current days of present year are a very rare period when this is possible, and until now few observers succeeded, but its not a difficult task.

Planets at daylight are easy in telescope. Planets visible at daylight at naked eye (in suitable dates/times) are usually only Venus and, less often, Jupiter. This year Mars joins the club since its near, and so bright, as it wasnt in many years, more than Jupiter.

The present days are the best to try: Mars is bright, but since its still not exactly in opposition to the Sun, after sunrise it has still some altitude. So, try this now in early/mid July 2018 or nevermore in long time. A second chance will be after opposition (mid/end August) before sunset.
However morning has an advantage: I began at twilight, when Mars was still very evident, and kept an eye on it every few minutes, using as vague reference a chimney. At sunrise and beyond the planet was still there visible quite easily, as a white point.
The day after I repeated the observation, beginning directly at sunrise time: Using the chimney I found soon Mars by naked eye. A clear sky allowed me to follow it by naked eye until 25 minutes after sunrise (when it had become weak and set in the roofs) and take these photos.

For photo1 I used a wide angle lens, to render the human field of view. But the camera hasnt the human eyes dynamic range, so I took the other photos with a bright telelens, with more realistic effect. However no image can replace the live experience.

Note in photo1 that a seagull was also observing Mars and cheering.

Canon EOS 600D, handheld
- Photo1: Canon18-55@18mm f/8 ISO100 1/60
- Photo2: Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 @ f11 ISO400 1/100
- Photo3: as photo2 but 1/200
Elaboration: crop, exposure, denoise
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Nice photos, but I seem to be unable to enlarge the smaller ones.
Posted by Haversham 2018-07-07 13:34:44
Thank you.
As usually, click a thumbnail to select a picture, the midsize version will appear above, and click it to enlarge it. If this doesnt work to you, I suppose it may be a problem of the server mirror which may solve in a few days. To me it works.
PS sorry for the absence of apostrophes () in the text, it seems a bug.
Posted by Mesarthim 2018-07-07 20:11:40
A clear blue sky, without excessive humidity, makes much difference: I repeated naked eye observation today (Juli 8th) with a blue-white humid sky and I saw Mars until just around 10 minutes after sunrise, unlike the 25mins in the clear morning of the photos above.
Watching the forecast or trying multiple mornings is a good idea to have more chance for the best conditions.
Posted by Mesarthim 2018-07-07 23:37:19
Seems to be working now. I remember many years ago, early 1980s, I got a big kick out of detecting Jupiter with the unaided eye during the day.
Posted by Haversham 2018-07-08 10:27:45
@Haversham: If you did Jupiter you can do also Mars these days (which is even brighter). I did Jupiter a few years ago only at high altitude. To me Mars was quite easier even if extincted by low altitude. Good luck and if you succeed let me know.
Posted by Mesarthim 2018-07-09 01:51:23 -
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