Winter Stars and Opposition Mars
From the photographer: “When the sky surprisingly cleared on the night of 1-2 December 2022, I set out from Bursa and drove about 60 km to Lake Gököz near Keles to catch Mars amongst the bright winter stars. There was a bright gibbous Moon near Jupiter, which set after midnight, leaving dark skies.
After moonset, the view was even better than I expected. The bright set of first magnitude stars Sirius, Rigel, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, Capella, Castor, Pollux, Procyon were all shining around the meridian and the Milky Way, with brilliant Mars in the middle of the bunch, shining at mag. -1.8.
I was able to record them all before the fog forming over the lake engulfed the view. While I was shooting, there was just a hint of the mist on the lake’s surface, slightly diffusing and dimming the lights across the lake. This is winter skygazing, you can be surprised with the clearing skies, yet it may not last long.”
This was the brightest Mars we got to see amongst a dark sky in 2022; and any time until 2031, actually.