Opposing Mars: Mars is closer to Earth in October 2020 as it will be for the next 15 years: how to see the red planet

If you spy a fiery red star close to the full moon earlier this month, it was actually shining its bright red light into the Mars night sky.The planet will be visible at night throughout October, with the highest rising in the sky around midnight each evening. It will shine every evening in the east and in the west before dawn.

But Mars does not always make such an appearance. So, why is Mars shining so brightly?

The red planet made its closest approach to Earth at 10:18 am. On October 6, Mars was 38,586,816 miles away from Earth — yes, it is closer to Mars – and it will not close again until 2035. Mars reached the closest to Earth in 2003 in 60,000 years, within a distance of 34.65 million miles.

See also: Halloween full moon, see Orionid meteor shower and bright Mars in the sky this October

This week, the Earth will swing between Mars and the Sun.

This incident, called the opposition of Mars, occurs on October 13, when it will be directly in the opposite direction from the Sun to the Earth according to NASA.

Mars and Earth do not revolve around the Sun in full orbit. Instead, planets have elliptical orbits like ellipses.

For example, while the Earth takes only 365 days to complete the Sun’s orbit, Mars takes 687 days. When the Earth moves closer to the Sun, Mars moves away from it.

Currently, NASA’s Perseverance Rover is on its way through space and to land on Mars in February 2021. It is one of several missions on Mars, including the UAE’s Hope probe and China’s Tianwen-1.

The hatha, which began on 30 July, is particularly within a timeframe that will allow a faster journey between Earth and Mars when they are in alignment on the same side of the Sun.

Look for Venus, Jupiter and Saturn

In addition to the beautiful shiny Mars, watch out for other planets that light up in the sky.

Venus, which is the third brightest object in the night sky after the Sun and the Moon, is still brighter than Mars – it only appears in the morning.

According to EarthSky, a non-profit organization and astronomy website, Mars currently occupies supremacy in the night sky and Venus shows its brightness in the eastern morning sky.

Mars is also away from Jupiter throughout October.

But once fading from the sight of Mars, Jupiter will be one of the brightest objects in the evening sky, and Saturn will also appear east of Jupiter.

The reason for this is the union of Jupiter and Saturn. The two largest planets in our solar system are having a rare meeting that occurs every 20 years.

The conjugation officially takes place on December 21, 2020, but the two planets are now visible near each other and will be in the night sky for the rest of the year.

Jupiter dissipates the stars, while Saturn leaves a bright golden glow.

During the last great coincidence in 2000, two massive planets were close to the Sun from our point of view on Earth, making them difficult to see.

This combination is rare due to the orbits of these massive planets – Jupiter takes 12 Earth years to complete an orbit around the Sun, and Saturn takes 30 years.

And every 20 years, Jupiter catches up with Saturn from our point of view on Earth.

So take advantage of this rare opportunity to see the two together in the night sky.

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Video via AccuWeather


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