It is visible to the naked eye and has a slightly reddish color. With a good telescope, stargazers can see Mars' surface in detail.
With Mars at its brightest in 15 years and two full moons - October is a great month to look up. "Every 26 months, fast Earth catches and corrupts slower Mars". That's the closest opposition in almost 60,000 years!
When Mars and the Sun line up in the middle with the Earth, the Red Planet is said to be in opposition. As NASA saysSimply go outside and look up, and depending on the local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars.
Though this line-up happens nearly every two years, this time Mars will orbit really close to the Earth at 38.6 million miles or 62.07 million km. (It takes Earth 365 days to orbit the Earth while Mars takes 687 days to take the same trip.) But what spaces out prime viewing events and makes the setup we're seeing this week so special, is because this time Mars' opposition to Earth is aligning with its closest orbit point to our planet.
Mars is one of the closest planets in our galaxy, which can be observed in the night sky from time to time.
A separation of just 62 million kilometres (39 million miles). It won't be that close by 2287.
Mars will reportedly be "visible from dusk to dawn" and appear three times brighter than Sirius. The closest possible encounter is when the Earth is furthest from the Sun and Mars is closest to the Sun, although that closest ideal point has never been recorded. However, they have elliptical (egg-shaped) paths, "NASA said". Earth and Mars are like runners on the same track. For comparison, the distance between the two planets at opposition can be over 100 million km.
"Since Mars and the sun appear on opposite sides of the sky, we say that Mars is in "opposition". From the earthling's perspective, according to NASA, Mars rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west, and would stay up in the sky the whole night, setting in the west just as the sun rises. You can't miss it, it's the brightest star-like object in that part of the sky!
"In general, Mars is the brightest in October 2020 in 2020".
Mars will shine at a magnitude of -2.62 over the next few nights, whereas Jupiter shines at -2.27. It has a reputation for being the red planet.
Mars is the next big leap in human space exploration. This vehicle was put into orbit to reach the planet in February 2021.
Previously, the closest approach between Mars and Earth was recorded in 2003, when Mars was 55.7 million kilometres away.