Earth from Above & Beyond Session - World Space Week 2016 - On 6 Oct 2016 - Register

Planetary Society, India in association with University College of Science, Saifabad, Osmania University are conducting  “Earth from Above & Beyond”  Session as part of  “World Space Week 2016” Celebrations. Theme for year 2016 is “Remote Sensing: Enabling Our Future”.

Date :  6th October 2016                       Time : 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.       Venue : University College of Science, Saifabad Campus
                   Lane Beside Hotel Golkonda, Masab Tank

Invitation to College Students &Faculty: Students (not more than two from each institution) and One Faculty (preferably from Science Stream) can attend this programme. Participation is free "First Cum First Serve" basis subject to online registration . 

Priority will be given to Undergraduate Students of Degree Colleges (Bsc, B.Pharm etc. Courses). Exclusive Session For Engineering Students (including Polytechnic) is planned by End of this Month. 

Faculty & Students can Click here to Register 

Planet Mars Closest to Earth in 11 years today 31 May 2016



On 31st May 2016 Planet Mars will be closest it can get to Earth. In other words Planet Mars in its journey around Sun will reach a point in its orbit which is closest it can get  at 3.06 a.m. on  31st May 2016 (30th May for most of western countries at 21.36 UTC).

Why Mars is Closest every 26 months? This closest approach is due to once in 26 months Celestial event “Mars Opposition to Sun” which occurred on 22 May 2016. Due to opposition Planet Mars, Earth and Sun were Opposite to Each other in a straight line from our perspective on earth. Whenever a planet is at Opposition planet in question would be closest in its orbit to earth than any other time. Hence it will appear brightest, biggest (from Telescope). Click here to see our article dated 22 May 2016 on "Mars Opposition to Sun".


Closest in Last 11 Years: As on 31st May 2016 at 3.06 a.m. Planet Mars is placed at 0.50321 AU = 75.28 million km from Earth. Generally the Minimum Distance from Mars to Earth is 55.7 Million km whereas Max. Distance Planet Mars can be away from Earth is 401.3 Million Km. If one can see last 11 years data of Mars Closest Distance to Earth presently Mars is Closest.

Time/Direction -  Naked Eye:  General Public can spot the Mars for many weeks easily with naked eye after sunset. In the evening Half hour after Sunset looking towards the sky opposite direction to sunset, one can spot Planet mars between East and North East direction. Whereas at midnight one can see it above his head while in the morning it can be spotted in West and North West Direction.

How it will appear:. It will appear like Orangish Red Non-Twinkling Bright object in the sky when seen by naked eye. 

Importance of Mars Opposition/Closest Approach to Science – ISRO/NASA Mars Missions: once in every 26 months when earth and mars close to earth they provide excellent opportunity to launch mission and reach in shorter distance. ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission was launched on 5 November 2013 keeping in view the Mars Opposition event of year 2014. Taking benefit of Mars Opposition event of 2016 European Space Agency in association with Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) sent “ExoMars” first of its two spacecrafts in 2016.



Mars Oppositon to Sun on 22 May 2016 - Spot Mars with naked eye


On 22nd May, 2016 at 4.47p.m. IST Celestial Phenomena of “Planet Mars Opposition to Sun” will occur. A planet is at opposition when it is directly opposite to Sun from our viewpoint on Earth. In other words during course its journey around Sun Planet Earth will have Faceoff with Planet Mars tomorrow.  

Fully Illuminated - Bright Mars – to Rise & Set opposite Sun: Due to opposition Mars can be seen all through night. If one can see he/she would notice as Sun Sets in the West Mars will rise in the East. As Sunrises in the East Mars Sets in West. Further Planet Mars will be fully illuminated by the sun and appears disk-like.

We see a great example of an opposition every month. Whenever there is a full moon, the moon is on one side of Earth and the sun is on the opposite side. Due to Opposition from 22 May – 25 May Mars will shine at -2.1 Magnitudes which is maximum brightness till next opposition in 2018.

The Next “Opposition of Mars” will occur on 27th July, 2018 whereas the last time Mars was at Opposition is on 8 April, 2014.  Similarly Next Month Planet Saturn will be at Opposition on 3 June

Time/Direction -  Naked Eye:  General Public can spot the Mars with naked eye after sunset. In the evening Half hour after Sunset looking towards the sky opposite direction to sunset, one can spot Planet mars between East and North East direction. Whereas at midnight one can see it above his head while in the morning it can be spotted in West and North West Direction.

How it will appear:. It will appear like Orangish Red Non-Twinkling Bright object in the sky when seen by naked eye.

Mars Closest Approach – Due to Mars Opposition on 22 May: Importantly whenever there is opposition the planet in question would be closest in its orbit to earth than any other time. Hence it will appear brightest, biggest (from Telescope).

So Planet Mars will be Closest it can get on 31st May 2016 at 3.06 a.m. at 0.50321 AU = 75.28 million km. The Minimum Distance from Mars to Earth is 55.7 Million km whereas Max. Distance Planet Mars can be away from Earth is 401.3 Million Km.

Request – Observation in Schools: we request schools to come forward be part of “Kalam Mars Observation Center” project to Host Sky Observation for Students and General Public (in School surroundings area). Technical know-how and astronomical Telescopes will be provided by Society.

RARE MECURY TRANSIT ON 9 MAY 2016 - VISIBLE INDIA

On 9 May 2016 rare event " Transit of Mercury" will occur from 4.40 IST to Sunset. Visit this page at in the evening for "Live Webcast" from various sources across the world. 

click on below for details in Telugu 

Kindly mail your details if you are interested in joining us for NASA-OUTREACH activities in future ssa.media@gmail.com 


Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on 23 March 2016 After Moonrise

On 23 March 2016 2nd of Five Eclipses of this Year which is a Lunar Eclipse will Occur. This Eclipse is "Penumbral Lunar Eclipse" . Timings : 3.07 pm. to 7.27 p.m. However in India Moon rises only after 6 pm. Hence example for People in Hyderabad eclipse is from 6.27 p.m. to 7.27 p.m. Note: Scientifically speaking though Penumbral Eclipse occur naturally, they are noticeable to naked Eye.
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 23 March 2016

On 23 March 2016 2nd of Five Eclipses of this Year which is a Lunar Eclipse will Occur. This Eclipse is "Penumbral Lunar Eclipse" . Timings : 3.07 pm. to 7.27 p.m. However in India Moon rises only after 6 pm. Hence example for People in Hyderabad eclipse is from 6.27 p.m. to 7.27 p.m. Note: Scientifically speaking though Penumbral Eclipse occur naturally, they are not noticeable to naked Eye.

Posted by Planetary Society, India on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Jupiter Opposition on 8 March 2016 - Spot Jupiter Closest Visible Brightest, Biggest for Many Weeks to Come

Today Jupiter will be Closest it can get to Earth in Year 2016...Hence will be appear Brighter and Bigger from Telescope... all in all Jupiter is Closest, Brightest and Biggest Today ...due to Phenomena called Jupiter Opposition to Sun 

Celestial Phenomena of “Jupiter Opposition to Sun” will occur on  8th March 2016. Because of which Jupiter will be closest it can get to earth in year 2016. Importantly it will appear brighter and bigger for many weeks to come. Further on 8th March 2016 or many days follow one can spot Jupiter while looking opposite direction to Sunrise or Sunset.  It would be above head at Midnight. 
Explanation :  Opposition – Jupiter Opposition: A planet (during course of its journey around sun) is said to be at opposition when it is directly opposite the Sun from our viewpoint on Earth. The result is that the planet is fully illuminated by the Sun and appears disk-like. Importantly during opposition the planet in question would be at its closest approach and thus would appear more big and brighter than usual. At this point Sun-Earth- Planet would be in a straight line opposite to each other. Though planet is at opposition for only one day, nevertheless for visual purposes it is almost as good for viewing for a couple of weeks to a Month before and after opposition. Jupiter oppositions occur every 13 months. The last opposition of Jupiter occurred on 6th February, 2015 and the next will be on 8th April 2017.  

On 8th March, 2016 – Jupiter Closest: minimum distance of Jupiter from earth is 588 Million kilometers approx. Whereas the Maximum distance is 967 Million km approx. On the 8th March 2016 Jupiter will reach closest point at 4.435 AU A.U. or  663 million km which is very close to its min. distance from earth.



Total Solar Eclipse on 9 March 2016 - Visible Partially In India


A Total Solar Eclipse will occur on 9th March, 2016. This eclipse in India is visible partially in major parts of the country except some parts of North West and western parts of India.  This is first Solar Eclipse of the Year and only one visible until year 2019 Dec 26th from India. 


March 2016 Solar Eclipse – After gap of 5/6 Years: The last time solar eclipse visible from few parts of Northern India occurred on 4 Jan 2011 (Partial Solar Eclipse). Whereas the last Solar Eclipse visible from entire India occurred on 15 January 2010 (Annular Solar Eclipse).

How much of Sun Disk – Covered by Moon - Percentage of Obscuration- India (8% to 49%): No doubt some parts of Indonesia enjoy 100% of Sun disk covered by Moon. However situation in India to observe this eclipse is not bad either. In India obscuration of the Sun by the Moon ranges from 8.2% to 49 %  depending on location of Observer from Sunrise to 6.49 a.m. 

Timings of Eclipse - Various phases & Total Phase: This eclipse in various phases would begin from 4.49 a.m. to 10.05 a.m. whereas the Total Phase is from 5.47 a.m. to 9.08 a.m.

Visible in Hyd (6.29 a.m. to 6.47 a.m.) Most places in Telangana & A.PObscuration: Sun would rise at 6.29 a.m. in Hyderabad and Eclipse in Partial Phase can be seen up till 6.47 a.m. with 12% of Sun is obscured by Moon.  Sun would rise at 6.10 a.m. in Vizag and Eclipse in Partial Phase can be seen up till 6.49 a.m. with 28.5% of Sun is obscured by Moon. 

Solar Filters - Hyd or Vizag - Observation: as the next Solar Eclipse visible from India is in 26 Dec 2019 imited number of Special Imported German filters Googles priced at Rs.100 each are available at Khadi Gram Udyog Bhandar, Opp: Eseva Near Koti Maternity Hospital Sultan Bazaar, Koti  Mr.Viraat Manager can be contacted on 9848324305. Further Mr.Simhadri for Visakhapatnam on Ph.8978328127 .

Note: Solar eclipse should not be seen directly with naked eye. One can use proper filter like aluminized Mylar, black polymer, welding glass of shade number 14 or by making projection of Sun’s image on a white board/Mirror.

Observation of Eclipse is being organised on 9th March 2016  from 6 a.m. to 7a.m. at Tank Bund, Secunderabad, Telangana and Ramakrishna Beach, Vishakapatnam A.P.  Public can RVPSP/Register at www.ournewplanets.info. Further Spotting of Jupiter which is closest without telescope also would be conducted at both Venues