Look up! Mars will shine particularly bright in the sky TONIGHT

Katie Ramirez
October 7, 2020

Be sure to look up any clear night in October to see the Red Planet shining bright.

Every night this month, just around midnight, the planet will shine in the sky.

Planet Mars will be closest and it can get to Earth on Tuesday.

"In addition, gravitational tugging by planets constantly changes the shape of their orbits a little bit", states NASA. As should be obvious in this video beneath, Mars and Earth are both on marginally circular orbits, which implies they can sometimes get extremely near one another.

The next lot of Mars missions - like the Mars Sample Return - will be travelling in 2022, but they'll have to travel an extra 20 million kilometres, as we'll be at a distance of 81.5 million kilometres (50.6 million miles) at our closest approach during this time.

It'll be clearly visible to the naked and eye and - you guessed it - will be reddish in colour, but anyone with a telescope will have the chance to gaze at a number of its features such as its mountain peaks and polar ice caps.

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Sky Gazers may have noticed a fiery red star very close to the moon over the weekend. The nearest conceivable experience is when Earth is the farthest away from the Sun (aphelion) and Mars is the nearest to the Sun (perihelion). "The Red Planet comes close enough for exceptional viewing only once or twice every 15 or 17 years", NASA said. It won't be that close to Earth again until 2035.

To see Mars, you should look to the right side of the Moon, and upwards towards the Pisces constellation, according to Metro.co.uk. Tuesday, October 13th is the time to enjoy the opposition.

NASA says this lineup happens only about once every two years.

NASA is now in the midst of preparing for an upcoming Mars mission, following the successful launch of the Perseverance Rover some months back.

As well as Mars, a rare Blue Moon will light up the sky on Halloween.

'Generally speaking, Mars is at its brightest in 2020 throughout the month of October 2020. "It would be the reward of a lifetime to see a mission going to Mars to drill into the ice and bring back a sample of subglacial water for analysis, but this is very unlikely to happen at the moment", said Mr. Orosei.

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