Mars was so closed this week that you can see its surface from your backyard

Mars appeared in its full brightness on Tuesday night, due to a perfect planetary alignment that allowed it to reflect more sunlight towards Earth.

This is because the opposition of Mars, or the Sun was on the opposite side of the Earth, The washington post Report. This, coupled with the fact that Mars in its orbit is particularly close to Earth at the moment, made the planet so crisp that amateur astronomers with binoculars could take crisp pictures of its surface from their backyard.

Photographers documented the incident well, such as with this time-lapse video shared on Reddit which shows the entire planet clearly rotating.

According to NASA, Mars is actually in opposition once every 26 months. But it is much less common to oppose Mars and Earth passing close to each other in their orbits. It only happens once every 15 to 17 years, making Tuesday night a rare occasion.

Mars actually reached the closest to Earth a week ago on 6 October, and it would not close again until 2035. Wapo Report.

But if you miss the show, Mars will once again pass near the Earth on the first day of December 2022 and go into opposition a week later, a double performance – despite Tuesday’s show’s less dazzling.

Read more: Shining mars tonight shines extra [The Washington Post]

More on Mars: NASA photographed the Epic Dust Devil on the surface of Mars