Forget7; glory, when the glittering red planet shows in the night sky. We passed Mars close to Earth on October 6 and now we are pumped for October 13, when it will be in opposition. . October 2020 is about Mars̵
Mars has a reputation as the “red” planet, but its color in the night sky is a little more on the Halloween side of the spectrum. It looks like a bright orange-red dot to the naked eye, like a small speck of glittering rust.
The distinct color of Mars is a hint that you have found it in the dark. Look at the eastern sky to catch it rising at night. This is a great time to look at the planet, partly to discover it’s so easy. It should be visible most of the night. As NASA says, “just go out and look up and depending on your local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars.”
Check out oursif you want some extra help finding the planet.
Opposition: 13 October
When Mars and the sun are in line with the earth in the middle, the red planet is said to be in opposition. This is a perfect time to track Mars’ motion across the sky. It will rise in the east when the sun goes down, move across the sky and then go down in the west when the sun rises.
NASA describes the opposition as “effectively a” full “Mars.” Tuesday 13 October, it’s time to enjoy resistance. You have to wait over two years for that to happen again.
The Virtual Telescope Project, which gives us live streams of celestial events, will stream a Mars opposition display from 1 p.m. PT. on October 13th. It’s a perfect way to enjoy action without the weather. For people in the United States, it will give you a preview of what to look for after sunset.
The project expects this to be “the best observation conditions since July 2018.”
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“The racetrack model for planetary orbits explains why. Earth and Mars are like runners on a track. Earth is inside, Mars is outside,” NASA said in its What’s Up blog for October. “Every 26 months, the fast-moving earth catches up with the slower Mars and strikes it. The opposition takes place just as the earth takes the lead.”
March is not the only show in the sky in October. You can toowhen our neighbor is drunk on October 31st. It’s not ghostly; it’s boo-tiful.
Rewind to the close procedure on October 6th
Tuesday, October 6, marked Mars’ proximity to Earth, but throughout this month it’s still a good time to take a telescope and look a little better. Give another wavewhile you are doing it. The vehicle is on track to reach the planet in February 2021.
NASA shared an artist’s view on Tuesday, October 6, close approach compared to the last time it snuggled in July 2018. The obvious sizes look very similar. This year, Mars had a minimum distance of 38.6 million miles (62 million kilometers), which is about 3 million miles further away than 2018.
Close approaches may be over, but the planet is still very bright at night, so go out and grab a gander, or listen to the Virtual Telescope project’s live food from the comfort of your computer.