San Francisco Clear Sky Clock Look at where it will be clear for Mars views before you head out. Click on other clocks within 60 or 120 miles, or for all of California too. The marine layer
often interferes with astronomical seeing, so check your favorite weather resource before a long (or short) drive.
How much smaller is Mars now? Arcsec diameter of Mars each month in 2003
What's an arcsec anyway? Definition of astronomical measures: degree, arcmin, arcsec
Missed out on Mars? Or have "a friend" who missed out? Mars will be 20 arc sec in diameter October 22nd 2005. Magnitude -2. 44 million miles from earth. Plus it will be higher in the sky so it will be seen through less of our yucky atmosphere. Mars was this large (20 arc sec) in diameter in late July 2003 before opposition, and again in late September post opposition.
Geology The Geology of Mars The six geologic processes that shape Mars past, present and future
Where can you view Mars in Northern California in October - Still some excellent Mars observing opportunities through October. Mars will rise earlier and therefore be visible earlier in the evening in October. By the end of September, Mars will shrink from 25 arc seconds in diameter at opposition to 21 arc seconds in diameter. By the end of October, Mars will be 15 arc sec in diameter.
- Sidewalk Astronomers in Marin and SF View Mars when the fog is gone. Call our hotline (415) 289-2007 for same day plans or changes. No sidewalk plans scheduled right now, but check the hotline for updates. Send us a question anytime to
info at sfsidewalkastronomers.org. We schedule most of our events once we know the night-time weather, so they are spur of the moment same day scheduling. We'll be showing Mars lots in September and October on the sidewalks. For sidewalk astronomy events by email, join our email list, or read the archived messages.
- San Jose Astronomical Association, San Jose. View Mars August 22 and 27, September 5, 13, 19, October 3 and October 24 at Houge Park in San Jose.
- The Hercules Stargazers will host Mars Watch events on August 23, 30, September 20 and October 25 at Foxboro Park in Hercules, Ca., at 1025 Canterbury Dr. Free and open to the public. Dave Harris, 510-526 5974.
- Lawrence Hall of Science Plaza , Berkeley. Wednesday, August 27 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Also every first and third Saturday on the plaza. August 16, September 6 9-11 p.m, September 20 8-10 p.m. and October 4 and 18 8:00-10:00 p.m.
- Fremont Peak Observatory, near San Juan Bautista, San Benito County. August 28th, 30th and September 6, 13 and 20th, October 4 and October 18 and 25 More info, plus the full 2003 observing schedule is on the website, too. Reserve a campsite and settle in for the night so you can see Saturn rising at about 1:30 a.m. from your campsite!
- Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland. Chabot telescopes is open every clear Friday and Saturday night. Note the normal regularly scheduled evening hours operation have resumed. Check the website for the exact hours of operation.
- San Jose Astronomical Association, Gilroy. View Mars on September 20 and October 18 at Coyote Lake Park in Gilroy
- Click here for a worldwide list of Mars
These Mars events are over - more above - Mars will be back in 2005. 19-20 arc sec in diameter October/November 2005
Indoor lectures about Mars
- Sidewalk Astronomers in Marin and SF View Mars when the fog is gone, like tonight! Join us September 10 and 11 from 10:00 p.m. to midnight, 4th and Court Street Plaza, San Rafael.Call our hotline (415) 289-2007 for same day plans, like for other nights. Look below for MyBrary, where we'll be Friday night. Send us a question to
info at sfsidewalkastronomers.org. We schedule these events once we know the night-time weather, so they are spur of the moment same day scheduling. But we'll be showing Mars more in September on the sidewalks. For sidewalk astronomy events by email, join our email list, or read the archived messages.
- Randall Museum Mars 2003, San Francisco. September 6th. Wow was this ever a fantastic event! 700+ people looked at Mars and the moon through a dozen telescopes at night, and viewed the sun through half a dozen solar telescope during the day. Plus non-stop family activities, planetarium shows, interesting talks, and Mars cookies before dark. Indoor lecture by Planetary scientist Dr. Chris McKay from NASA Ames was outstanding.
- Rock Springs Parking lot, Mount Tamalpais, Marin County. August 30th and September 27 for the SFAA star party
- San Francisco Amateur Astronomers City Star Party , Lands End, San Francisco. October 4 5:30 p.m. telescope Clinic, 6:30 p.m. talk by Stacy McDermott on observing the moon, 7:30 p.m. star party. (415) 289-6636 for weather update. Note the talk will go on fog or no fog.
- Borrego Springs Resort, San Diego County. August 29, 30, 31, Sept 1. It was hot, but Mars was awesome! Join Sidewalk Astronomers Jane, Mojo, Mike and Jim near the Borrego Springs Resort golf course for free Mars views, public welcome.
- Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park August 15/16, SFAA; August 22/23 MDAS; August 29/Sept 1 PAS. Club members who have signed up in advance (or others if given permission by the sponsoring club) can bring and set up telescopes, the public is welcome, no charge for astronomy program or viewing.
- Sidewalk Astronomers in Marin August 25, 26, 27 (Monday through Wednesday nights) we'll be at the Downtown San Rafael City Plaza (Fourth Street near A - Court Streets) 10:00 p.m. to midnight. Note: 25th clear 200 eyes saw Mars; 26th clear 600 eyes saw Mars; 27th clear 500 eyes saw mars from San Rafael!
- Sidewalk Astronomers in SF August 25 and 26 9:30 to 11:30, weather permitting. If clouds are present, the event will be cancelled. If this is your neighborood, look up and decide. Telescopes will be set up at the corner of 19th and Pennsylvania streets in Potrero Hill, with an unobstructed. Note: Both events fogged out.
view out over the Bay, and good location for Mars.
- More Sidewalk Astronomers in Marin Join Jayni, Aeddan & Kenneth for viewing Mars by the Bay 25, 26, August 10:00 p.m. to midnight (Monday and Tuesday) at Tiburon Blvd and Gilmartin Drive on the bike path in Tiburon for Mars up close and personal. Note
- Mybrary - a pro-literacy project at BUILD, San Francisco. Join the SF Sidewalk Astronomers with telescopes accross the street from 483 Guerrero, San Francisco. August 22 at 10:00 p.m. and September 12 at 9:00 p.m. - Mars will be best to look at after 10:00 p.m., tho'. Views were great both nights, by the way.
- UC Berkeley Amateur Astronomy Club is hosting a viewing on the roof of Campbell Hall with a telescope on Tuesday, August 26th from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. Please try to arrive by 9 because Campbell is locked at night and you may not be able to get in.
- Mount Diablo Astronomical Society, Mount Diablo State Park. September 20 and October 4 Public viewing at the lower summit parking lot, Mount Diablo
- Starry Starry Nights in the Sierra Foothills, various locations near Colfax and Auburn. View Mars and other objects August 15, 16, 17 and August 22, 23, 24
- Robert Ferguson Observatory, Kenwood, Sonoma County. August 16th and 23rd public nights closest to opposition!
- La Honda Elementary School Mars Party. August 23 from dusk to 2:00 AM. The public is welcome, and especially anyone who would like to bring their telescope. It's a dark site, easy to find, with good horizons. James Adams,  747-0517, JamesAdamsLh@aol.com
- Sidewalk Astronomers in SF August 24 10:00 p.m. to midnight, National Park Service permitting, we'll be at Lands End, El Camino Del Mar, location of the monthly San Francisco Amateur Astronomers City Star Party. If we get there and the gate is locked we'll go to a parking area near the Cliff House. Look for a couple telescopes. Hotline for Sidewalk Astronomers events: (415) 289-2007
- San Mateo County Astronomical Society and the College of San Mateo, San Mateo. SMCAS will be hosting a free Mars presentation in the Planetarium followed by telescope viewing of Mars on 8/27, 8:00 pm 'till 11:00 + at the College of San Mateo Planetarium (Bldg 13), free parking in student lots. (650) 574-6256 or (650) 341-3572
- Peninsula Astronomical Society, Los Altos Hills. View Mars August 27 at Foothill College Observatory in Los Altos Hills. $2.00 parking fee. 16-inch telescope will be open and a color camera will be set up on the 6-inch refractor.
- Clos Pegase Winery, Calistoga. View Mars and Pegasus August 27 at the winery 9 to midnight. Telescopes courtesy of the San Mateo County Astronomical Society, public welcome, no charge
- Lick Observatory summer visitor program, Mount Hamilton, San Jose. Tickets for September 12 and 13 are sold out, I think. But it doesn't hurt to check anyway.
- Great Valley Museum of Natural History and the Stanislaus Astronomy club, Modesto, Stanislaus County. View Mars Thursday, August 28th September 5th starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum Annex's observatory, 1114 Stoddard Avenue across from Modesto Junior College, Modesto, CA 95350. Also join the group at their regular 1st Friday of the month Astronomy Open House September 5th, when the focus will be Mars. Free. Children welcome if accompanied by an adult. Contact Bill Luebke email@example.com
- California Academy of Sciences, As part of the California Academy of Sciences' 150th Anniversary Festival, members of the Morrison Planetarium staff will have telescopes set up for observing on the evening of Saturday, September 6th, from 9pm to 11pm. Weather-permitting, we'll be viewing Mars and the Moon from the center fountain of Golden Gate Park's Music Concourse.
- Evergreen Valley College, San Jose. View Mars August 28 and 30, September 4 and 6 at Evergreen Valley College Observatory. Call (408) 223-6784 for free reservations through the observatory 'scopes (to keep the lines manageable). No reservations needed to view through the adjacent telescopes,though.
- Sonoma State University Observatory, Cotati, Sonoma County. View Mars and star clusters and the Eagle Nebulae September 19
- Sonoma County Astronomical Society public star party 8:00 p.m. August 30 and September 6 at Youth Community Park, west side of Fulton Road between Guerneville Road and Piner Road, just opposite Piner High School, Santa Rosa. (707) 525-8737 for information
- The Mars Society, Utah. Mars Desert Research Station Mars Party August 29 through 31.
- The Mars Society, San Diego. San Diego is a few degrees lower in latitude than the bay area. This makes for outstanding Mars views earlier and higher in the sky. Many events listed here in August and September.
Good Mars links
Sketches and images of Mars in 2003
Missions to Mars
Mars articles from local astronomy club newsletters
- Chabot "Summer of Mars" Lecture Series events
- San Francisco Amateur Astronomers present Dr. Chris McKay, NASA AMES August 20, 2003 7:30 p.m.
- Eastbay Astronomical Society presents Dr. Chris McKay, NASA AMES August 9, 2003 7:00 p.m.
- Randall Museum presents Dr. Chris McKay, NASA AMES, and other speakers on Mars Day, September 6, 2003 2:00 p.m. to evening observing
- Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego. Weekend talk series. Wednesday, August 20th 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. A Travelers Guide to Mars