Mars to be visible at its biggest, brightest on October 13

Pablo Tucker
October 13, 2020

Stargazers perk up - Mars is getting big and bright the coming week, as the sun, Earth and Mars line up close to a new moon on the night of October 13.

And because this year's opposition is also close to the new moon, Mars will shine brighter without moonlight hampering, he writes.

Royal Observatory astronomer Hannah Banyard told the Daily Mail: "It's a really good chance to view it - the last time this happened was 2018 but it was quite hard for a lot of people to see because it was quite down in the horizon".

The best time to see Mars will be around 1am on Wednesday morning. "Every 26 months, the fast Earth catches up to the slow Mars and raps". That's the closest opposition in almost 60,000 years!

Cloudy weather is forecast for some parts of the United Kingdom, but Banyard explained you can hopefully get a glimpse of Mars among any breaks or even through lighter cloud.

When Mars and the Sun line up with Earth in the middle, the red planet is said to be in opposition.


"Just go outside and look up". As NASA says " Just go out and see and based on your local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars".

Two years back, Mars was relatively nearer to Earth than this year which is around 58 million kilometres versus the new 62 million kilometres. We passed the approach of Mars to Earth on October 6, and we are now looking forward to Tuesday, October 13, when he will be in opposition.

Mars is one of the closest planets in our galaxy, which can be observed in the night sky from time to time.

This artist's vision shows the apparent size of Mars as it approaches 2018 and 2020. It won't be that close by 2287.

Mars doesn't just appear in the sky for October. However, they have elliptical (egg-shaped) paths, "NASA said". Earth and Mars are like runners on the track.

Mars is known to be a "red" planet, but its color in the night sky is slightly more on the Halloween side of the spectrum. You can enjoy the fiery planet by keeping your eye on it. You have to wait more than two years for this to happen again. As the sun sets it rises in the east, moves across the sky and then sets in the west as the sun rises. Astronomers measure the brightness of celestial objects using a magnitude scale with brighter objects having negative values.


Tuesday is not the only October show-off in the sky.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) explained: "During this opposition, Mars and Earth are closest to each other in their orbits". So, it's now the flawless time for astrophotographers to get some awesome photos of the Red Planet.

Mars is the next big leap in human space exploration. The vehicle is on its way to reach the planet in February 2021.

Details of a mission in lunar orbit were revealed as part of a timeline of events leading up to missions to Mars in the 2030s.

NASA describes the resistance "Effectively a "full" Tuesday". Right now, it's the closest to the Earth and it's at its biggest and brightest.


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