Mars comes closest to Earth tonight- The 6th October 2020!

Katie Ramirez
October 8, 2020

Here's all you need to know about catching this rare planetary spectacle.

Sky gazers, take note, because Mars will be closer to Earth this week than for another fifteen years.

"This time of excellent Mars viewing coincides with opposition, when Mars is directly on the opposite side of Earth from the sun", NASA said on its website. At both of those oppositions of Mars - and at every opposition for some years to come - Mars will appear fainter, and fainter, in our sky.

Mars will be closer to earth than usual.How close will Mar be to Earth? So, just go outside and look up; you should be able to see Mars.

Although the highest distance between Earth and Mars is 401 million km, that amount can vary a lot. And close is a relative term, according to NASA. According to NASA, the Red Planet will still be about 38.6 million miles away. NASA also described the opposition as "effectively a full Mars". However, they have elliptical paths.

"In addition, gravitational tugging by planets constantly changes the shape of their orbits a little bit". "Giant Jupiter especially influences the orbit of Mars". After this week, the planet will fade into black, continuing its own orbit around the sun.

However, that doesn't mean the closest approach happens then.

This detail was included in an original 2003 notice to the public, which told of Mars's closest approach in some 60,000 years, which won't be repeated until 2287.

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Everyone was out supporting the NHS (National Health Service), people were doing shopping for their neighbors, everyone was pulling together.

A very close approach is due in 2035, at just 56.9 million kilometres (35.4 million miles) apart.

Astronomers say Mars will be the second brightest object in the sky beside the Moon. If you are a stargazing fan and an enthusiast, this should be your day as the Mars will be bright, big and can perhaps be even seen without a telescope.

As EarthSky explains: "Earth swings between Mars and the Sun every other year, at progressively later dates".

NASA also warns folks to beware of an email hoax that's been circling around the Internet since that time.

But we're waiting to see Mars even closer, and we'll get that chance in the current week. Mars is now at its brightest, making it easier to spot the night sky with the naked eye.

First with a full harvest moon and later with a rare blue moon on Halloween, now, it's the red planet's turn to steal the show.

If you miss the Mars Close Approach, the next approach will be December 8, 2022.

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