The BAA Mars Section is the oldest body in the world for the collection and analysis of observations of the Red Planet. It was formed in 1892 by E. Walter Maunder, the Greenwich astronomer who founded the British Astronomical Association. The present Director (right) has been responsible for all analysis since the apparition of 1979-80.
Your contribution, however small, will be much appreciated and will be acknowledged in the reports which appear in the Journal, while selected current work will appear on this website. The 'current observations' part of the website is updated often, and the one for this year has become so large it had to be split into two parts, so please check back frequently to see some of the current work, with a running commentary.
This website also provides a guide to how to go about making observations, gives a selection of topographic and telescopic maps, a gallery of observations and a running commentary on the current Mars opposition, and downloadable reports on all past oppositions. There is also a bit of biographical information about past Directors, and some little bits of history here and there. There is also information about the comprehensive BAA dust storms Memoir, and how to obtain your copy.
Some of our longstanding contributors post images to other well-known archiving websites. This is fine for routine work, but I would ask observers who post elsewhere to let me know at once please if they see something really interesting. The current (2020 November) Regional dust storm is a case in point, and I can only obtain images for analysis from online sources when those pages have been updated!
Remember to send in your observations to the Section and become part of the Great British Marswatch effort!
Latest update (2022 May 25)
The Mars 2022 blog has been updated today. DUST STORM ALERT! You can also follow the right hand sidebar link to the page of current observations.
Richard McKim, Director
- An Introduction to the Mars Section
- History of the Mars Section
- Instruments and observing techniques
- Maps of Mars
- Special Features For Observation
- The 2022 Mars Opposition Blog
- 2020 Mars Opposition Observations Part 2 (from 20 September)
- 2020 Mars Opposition Observations Part 1 (up to 19 September)
- The Director's monograph on Telescopic Martian Dust Storms
- Report Forms, observing cards and graticules
- Publications by the Director
- Read reports on past oppositions of Mars
- Director and Website Manager: Dr Richard McKim