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Panorama of the triple conjunctions of Mars and Antares from the second century B.C. to the middle of the third millennium.

Panorama of the triple conjunctions of Mars and Antares from the second century B.C. to the middle of the third millennium.

Midway between the two limits a 'central line* is drawn. For a year number that would be exactly on this line, Mars and Antaies are simultaneously in opposition with the Sun. This was almost the case in 1606, when on May 25 the planet and the star came in opposition with the Sun with a time difference of only 8 hours. For all points situated above the central line, for instance 1811, the opposition of Mars precedes that of Antares. The opposite holds for the points situated below the central line.

We further note that the two limits are not exactly parallel : in the future they are more distant from each other than in the past. The reason is easily found : the perihelion of Mars' orbit gradually moves away from the star. Hence, Mars' rétrogradation loop in the vicinity of Antares is lengthening with time, so that the probability of a TC increases.

Year

Longitude of Mars' perihelion

Longitude of Antares

Difference

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