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March 8-14, 2012


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(c) 2012 Dennis Mammana/    All rights reserved.

While waiting for the northern lights on the evening of February 28, I decided to photograph the Red Planet Mars over the moonlit hillside at Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks, Alaska.

On this night―with the temperature hovering near -20F―the Red Planet was only four days before its opposition point―its closest to Earth―and continues to shine brightly in the eastern evening sky shortly after dark.  In this photo, Mars is the brightest "star" just above and to the left of the central tree; above it are the stars of the constellation Leo, the lion, among which it now appears to reside. 

Want to learn more about Mars?  Join me on Friday, March 16, 2012, for an exciting and close-up glimpse at the Red Planet, and discover why this world of massive canyons, meandering arroyos, whirling dust devils and towering volcanoes has captured our imaginations like no other.  A delicious buffet dinner and illustrated lecture will be followed by telescope observing of Mars and the desert sky with astronomers from around Southern California, weather permitting.  For more information, contact the Borrego Springs Resort at
888-826-7734 or 760-767-5700 or visit them online at

   Date / Time:  February 28/29, 2012 / 10:31 p.m. AST
   Photo Details:  Nikon D700, AF-S Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8G ED lens at 15mm, ISO 1250, 10 sec. at f/2.8
   Processing Details:  Lightroom 3.6, , Nik Dfine 2.0, Photoshop CS2
   Location:  Chena Hot Springs Resort, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA


This image is
protected by copyright as defined in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty (Geneva, December 2-20, 1996).  Its use or reproduction without advanced written permission by the photographer is strictly prohibited.  For permissions and fees, please contact Dennis Mammana.


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(c) Dennis L. Mammana.  All rights reserved.