Observation by Dominic Ford: Time-lapse video of Mars

Uploaded by

Dominic Ford


Dominic Ford


2021 Jan 11 - 08:33


2021 Jan 11 - 08:49



  • Watec 902H2 Ultimate
  • Pi Gazing

Analogue video @ 25 fps, integrated for 1 minute



Target name



Time-lapse video of Mars

About this image

This time-lapse video is a rather nice demonstration of Mars' motion over the course of its 2020 apparition.

My Pi Gazing meteor cameras take still images of the night sky every 4 minutes throughout the night (one minute exposures, integrated from analogue video), which allows me to make time-lapse videos with an interval of 23 hours and 56 minutes, at the same sidereal time each day. And because I leave my camera unattended for months at a time, I can make time-lapse videos over long periods from (almost) the same camera angle.

My camera points west and Mars was only just entering the field of view at dawn in late Aug, so I only just caught the beginning of Mars' retrograde (rightward) motion at the beginning of the video (on 9 Sept). You then see Mars track westward (rightward) in retrograde motion past opposition on 14 Oct, before doubling back on itself on 13 Nov as it returns to its usual eastward (leftward) motion.

I was hoping it would be possible to see the change in Mars' brightness over the course of the apparition, but that isn't particularly clear as the images are so saturated.

I should also clarify that the video isn't entirely smooth as I've removed some of the days when it was cloudy to make the video easier on the eyes.

There is an alternative version of this video where I've applied background-subtraction to the images here.

Files associated with this observation
Like this image
Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of work by third parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. By submitting images to this online gallery, you grant the BAA permission to reproduce them in any of our publications.