Published: Thu, October 15, 2020
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The Mars glows in opposition are extremely bright in tonight's night sky

The Mars glows in opposition are extremely bright in tonight's night sky

Mars reaches "opposition" on October 13 and so it has its best conspicuousness for a few months. Mars, the fourth planet in the solar system, is now in a position that is very close to Earth, so it can be seen by all fans without the use of a telescope.

The Mars opposition is related to "Mars close approach", which is the point where Mars and Earth come nearest to each other in their orbits around the sun.

"At this October's Opposition, Mars" southern hemisphere will be tilted towards Earth. Mars is traveling close to the earth right now, as it does every two years according to its orbit around the sun. The specialty of this astronomical happening is that, Mars, the red planet, becomes more striking. It will look like a bright star to the naked eye, but grows dramatically in size when seen through a telescope. With Mars in opposition on October 13, NASA has described it as the night when viewers could "effectively" see a full Mars. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. Then, after staying up in the sky the entire night, Mars sets in the west just as the Sun rises in the east. (It takes Earth 365 days to orbit the Earth while Mars takes 687 days to take the same trip.) But what spaces out prime viewing events and makes the setup we're seeing this week so special, is because this time Mars' opposition to Earth is aligning with its closest orbit point to our planet.

According to the scientists, this year, the two planets witnessed exceptional proximity and will not be coming this close for the next 15 years. Mars will be one of the brightest objects in the night sky from now until the end of October.

Earth rotates around the sun once every 365 days; Mars takes 687 days to do the same, so a year on Mars is longer. As NASA says " Just go out and see and based on your local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars".


At its farthest point, Mars is 400 million kilometres from Earth.

If you're looking to catch Mars at its most effulgent, all you have to do is look east an hour or two after sunset.

Mars also reached its so-called "present resistance" on 3 August. Using a telescope shows more of the planet's details such as dark and light regions, the solar ice caps and Mars' surface. It now shines brighter than the planet Jupiter, and it's not very often that Mars outshines the king's planet, "EarthSky added".

NASA describes the resistance "Effectively a "full" Tuesday".

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