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 (appointed in 1991) 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 BAA Journal, while selected current work will appear on this website. The 'current observations' part of the website is updated often, 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 in the form of a Blog on the current Mars opposition, with a complete set of downloadable reports on all past oppositions reported upon by the BAA. 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 the well-known archiving websites. This is fine for routine work, and I am happy to obtain their work from these sources, but I would ask observers to let me know at once if they see something really interesting, such as an unusual white cloud or a new dust storm event.
Remember to send in your observations to the Section and become part of the Great British Marswatch effort!
Latest update (2023 March 27)
Observations show that the seasonal Equatorial Cloud Band is now complete, but you need good seeing, a blue-violet filter and digital imaging in order to record it. This will be my final blog post of the 2022-23 apparition, but please continue to observe and report for as long as you are able to!
Richard McKim, Director
- Mars Opposition Blog 27 March 2023
2023 Mar 27
- Mars Opposition Blog 19 February 2023
2023 Feb 19
- Mars Opposition Blog 6 February 2023
2023 Feb 6
- Mars Opposition Blog 11 January 2023
2023 Jan 11
- Mars Opposition Blog 14 December 2022
2022 Dec 14
- An Introduction to the Mars Section
- History of the Mars Section
- Instruments and observing techniques
- Maps of Mars
- Special Features For Observation
- Mars Opposition 2022
- 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