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Best Mars photos, May 2016

These past weeks have been a fabulous time to view Mars, which swept closest to Earth on May 30. Best photos from the EarthSky community!

You can see Mars in a triangle with Saturn and the star Antares for months to come.

May 30 … Mars closest to Earth

Mars oppositions 2010 – 2022

Joanne Richard Escober caught this image of Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 28 at Apo Reef Natural Park Occidental Mindoro, Philippines.

Joanne Richard Escober caught this image of Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 28 at Apo Reef Natural Park Occidental Mindoro, Philippines.

Rajiv Maji caught Mars, Saturn and Antares from India.

Rajiv Maji caught Mars, Saturn and Antares from India on the night it was closest, May 30.

Mars, Saturn, Antares and fireflies! From Matt Pollock on May 29, 2016, in upstate New York.

Mars, Saturn, Antares and fireflies! From Matt Pollock on May 29, 2016, in upstate New York.

Niko Powe in Illinois called this image S.A.M.N. for Saturn, Antares, Mars, and Niko! :-)

Niko Powe in Illinois called this image S.A.M.N. for Saturn, Antares, Mars, and Niko! :-)

Grant Blair caught this photo of Mars through a telescope on May 29, 2016.  He wrote:

Grant Blair caught this photo of Mars on May 29, just one day before Mars was closest. He wrote: “Here it is through a moderate-sized telescope. Lots of features visible, including clouds, deserts, a (small) polar cap, mist and volcanoes!” Thanks, Grant!

Here's a neat image for being made with such simple equipment. Ajisaka Octawiyano in Indonesia wrote:

Here’s a neat image for being made with such simple equipment. Ajisaka Octawiyano in Indonesia wrote: “Mars at nearest distance. Taken with a 4.5 inch telescope and mobile phone camera.”

View larger. | Mars isn't the brightest planet up each evening. Jupiter - in the west when Mars is in the east - is slightly brighter.  Photo from May 20, 2016 by Juri Voit Photography.

View larger. | Mars isn’t the brightest planet up each evening. Jupiter – in the west when Mars is in the east – is slightly brighter. Photo from May 20, 2016 by Juri Voit Photography.

Nikolaus Pantazis in Greece caught Mars, Saturn and the star Antares above the city of Athens on May 28, 2016.

Nikolaus Pantazis in Greece caught Mars, Saturn and the star Antares above the city of Athens on May 28, 2016.

The full moon and Mars over Shelly Beach, Ballina, NSW, Australia on May 22, 2016. Photo by Dee Hartin. 22/5/16

The full moon and Mars over Shelly Beach, Ballina, NSW, Australia on May 22, 2016. Photo by Dee Hartin. 22/5/16

View larger. | Full moon and Mars over Dallas, Texas, from EarthSky friend Ben Zavala.

View larger. | Full moon and Mars over Dallas, Texas, from EarthSky friend Ben Zavala. They were bright enough to be seen from large cities.

Greg Hogan caught this shot of the full moon and Mars on the night before Mars opposition, May 21, 2016. Thanks, Greg!

Beautiful shot of the full moon and Mars on the night before Mars opposition, May 21, 2016. Thank you, Greg Hogan in Kathleen, Georgia! By the way, the May 21 full moon was a seasonal Blue Moon.

Moon and Mars on May 21, 2016 from Suzanne Murphy.

Moon and Mars on May 21, 2016 from Suzanne Murphy.

Matthew Kenslow called the moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares a

Many called the moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares a “baseball diamond in the sky” on the night of May 21, 2016. Photo by Matthew Kenslow.

Notice the features on the moon in this photo by our friend Eliot Herman in Tucson.  He wrote:

Notice the features on the moon in this May 21 photo by Eliot Herman in Tucson. He commented: “The moon and Mars are tough due to the bright moon glare, but they are a great sight to behold.” View larger on Flickr to see Mars as reddish.

Moon and Mars rising on May 21, 2016. April Singer Photography wrote:

Moon and Mars rising on May 21, 2016. April Singer Photography wrote: “We watched from the road to Taos, New Mexico, just above Pilar on the Rio Grande.”

Moon and Mars on May 21, 2016 from Dublin, Ireland, via our friend Deirdre Horan.

Moon and Mars on May 21, 2016 from Dublin, Ireland, via our friend Deirdre Horan.

Tom Wildoner wrote:

Tom Wildoner wrote on May 14, 2016: “In honor of astronomy day, I captured this image early in the morning from my backyard in Weatherly, Pennsylvania. It shows Saturn (upper left corner), Mars (upper right corner), and the star Antares (in the middle). This is a four image composition using 15-second exposures.” Thanks, Tom!

Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 7, 2016, from Simon Waldram. The brightest one is Mars. Saturn is on the left. Antares in the faintest one, lowest in the sky in this shot.

Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 7, 2016, from Simon Waldram. The brightest one is Mars. Saturn is on the left. Antares in the faintest one, lowest in the sky in this shot.

Cassius Callender created this cool composition on May 3, 2016 from Yellowstone Lake State Park Boat Landing, Blanchardville, Wisconsin.

Cassius Callender created this cool composition on May 3, 2016 from Yellowstone Lake State Park Boat Landing, Blanchardville, Wisconsin.

Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 6, 2016 by Ollie Taylor Photography.

Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 6, 2016 by Ollie Taylor Photography.

Christy Sanchez Photography caught Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 7, 2016, at Eleven-Mile Reservoir in Colorado.

Christy Sanchez Photography caught Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 7, 2016, at Eleven-Mile Reservoir in Colorado.

Mark Antonio in Manila, Philippines caught Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 9, 2016. As you might have noticed, this bright triangle of objects is right next to a rich region of the Milky Way.

Mark Antonio in Manila, Philippines caught Mars, Saturn and Antares on May 9, 2016. As you might have noticed, this bright triangle of objects is right next to a rich region of the Milky Way.

The video above – by Jeremy Evans – shows the Milky Way Rising with Saturn, Mars, and Antares from Vermillion Cliffs National Monument near the Utah/Arizona border.

Our friend Annie Lewis caught the planets and star on May 4, 2016.  Thanks, Annie!

Our friend Annie Lewis caught the planets and star on May 4, 2016. Thanks, Annie!

Sometimes a little light pollution can help you make out the patterns of the constellations, as in this photo taken on May 10, 2016, by Eliot Herman near Tucson.  You can see Mars, Saturn and Antares ... and also the graceful fishhook pattern of Antares' constellation, Scorpius the Scorpion.

Sometimes a little light pollution can help you make out the patterns of the constellations, as in this photo taken on May 10, 2016, by Eliot Herman near Tucson. You can see Mars, Saturn and Antares … and also the graceful fishhook pattern of Antares’ constellation, Scorpius the Scorpion.

Deborah Byrd

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