Mars to Shine Brightest on October 13

Pablo Tucker
October 15, 2020

That's because the Martian planet will be the single brightest red object in the sky as it finds itself in what's known as "opposition" to the Earth.

Mars will rise just after sunset, but the best time to view it is around midnight when reaches its highest point in the sky. But every two years or so, Mars, the Earth and the Sun all form a straight line during the course of their orbits, with Earth in the middle. It will appear much brighter than usual tonight and under clear-sky forecast, will be quite visible, even to the naked eye.

During this phenomenon, Mars will be at the farthest point from the sun and will be approximately at a distance of 211.5 million km from the centre of the sun, while it will be at the closest point from the earth at a distance of 62.3 million km from the centre of the earth, Marzouk added.

"Most of the time, Mars is really hard to see", he said.

Babul Bora, curator of Guwahati Planetarium informed G Plus that Mars comes closest to Earth every two and a half year. SpaceWeather.com reports that was its closest until 2035.


Calling on all night sky enthusiasts who would like to witness the spectacular sight of planet Mars.

"If Earth and Mars had perfectly circular orbits, their minimum distance would always be the same". However, it was in 2003 that the planets had come the closest and NASA has said the two would not orbit this close to each other until the year 2287. And don't worry about getting it confused with something else in the solar system - during this time, nothing else in that section of the sky will be able to compete with its brightness or recognisable warm hue.

"In general, Mars is the brightest in October 2020 in 2020".

"The difference in the apparent size of Mars from last week to this week is absolutely tiny - just a fraction of an arc second, which itself is a tiny fraction of a degree".

In case of opposition, however, Mars and sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth.


"Opposition" is the astronomical occurrence when a planet farther from the Sun than Earth appears opposite the Sun. In the event one can't catch Mars at that time, don't fret.

"So by seeing the full face of Mars at opposition we will see it at its very brightest".

Mars doesn't just appear in the sky for October.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun.

More advanced stargazers will recognise Mars in the constellation Pisces.


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