Measure Mars

Every couple of years Mars comes close enough to Earth for astronomers to do something interesting!  The Roseland Observatory is working with John Clark based in Central England to measure the distance to the Red Planet by using the original method of parallax. This was experiment first carried out by David Gill in 1877 on Ascension Island. This time around we will require images of the planet and nearby stars taken at the same time from a number of different locations across the globe. John is prepared to undertake the mathematical analysis or will provide the method for those wishing to do this themselves. The Observatory is asking for those groups and individuals who normally take images of stars and planets to contact the Observatory, they will then be able to provide all the detailed information. If you are interested please contact Brian on brians(at)roselandobservatory(dot)com .

This is an excellent opportunity for schools and clubs to gain insight into accurate measurement techniques in astronomy. Of course it is quiet a challenge as well. &

Adapted from Brian Sheen, Member of the Royal Astronomical Society Education Focus Group.

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