Mars astronomy, Ascension Island, 1877

Mars astronomy, Ascension Island, 1877

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 19th century Mars astronomy. Astronomers at their base camp during the 1877 expedition to Ascension Island to observe the opposition of the planet Mars. Mars is in opposition when it is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun. The expedition lasted 6 months, and was led by the Scottish astronomer David Gill (1843-1914). The results enabled an improved calculation of the Sun-Earth distance. This camp was known as "Mars Bay".

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