Look up, Mars is visible in night sky during a 'close approach'

Wow! Mars to appear brightest and biggest tonight don't miss this rare'opposition

In its smaller orbit around the sun, Earth will pass more or less between the sun and Mars at around 11pm.

Now that we've seen Mars hit its closest approach to Earth on October 6, we can now expect to see it beaming in the night sky this Tuesday, when it will align with Earth and the Sun, giving viewers from Earth the closest view they can get for the next 15 years.

As every close approach is different, the red planet won't appear this bright again until 2035, but it should remain bright until the end of October, so hopefully you can make the most of it while it lasts.

On October 6, our home had a close approach to Mars.

It reaches its closest point to the earth every two years, but not every approximation is the same, with distances varying by millions of miles even at the closest points. Therefore, when Mars is closer to the Sun, it is closer to Earth during resistance. And although opposition can happen at any point in Mars's orbit, this year's event comes just six days after the planet's closest approach to Earth.

Have you always been curious about other planets visibility in the sky, or just observing the stars into the night sky.

At its farthest point, Mars is 400 million kilometres from Earth. The two planets will not be coming this close for the next 15 years.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. At its farthest, Mars is about 400 million km from the Earth. Mars will be rising in the east this week, so after night falls first try looking eastward for the big red object. This implies, Sun-Earth-planet is in a straight line.

Because of this, the distances between the two planets can vary by millions of miles.

"The orbits of Mars and Earth are also slightly inclined towards each other".

But why is it called opposition?

Mars will then dip just below the horizon after 7am BST (6am BST), as the Sun rises in the east.

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Opposition describes the occasion marked by the sun, Earth and Mars all lining up perfectly. Essentially, opposition is a reference to "opposing the sun" in the sky.

Nasa has outlined its four-step plan (pictured) that will hopefully one day allow people to visit Mars at the Humans to Mars Summit held in Washington DC yesterday.

According to Environment Canada, the best night for Mars viewing this long weekend will be Monday, with a forecast calling for cloudy periods in Kamloops and the Okanagan.

Mars will reportedly be "visible from dusk to dawn" and appear three times brighter than Sirius. With a good telescope, stargazers can see Mars' surface in detail.

But the clarity of these details depends on the turbulence of the atmosphere and local weather conditions.



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