Mars to Shine Brightest on October 13

James Marshall
October 12, 2020

Mars, the fourth planet in the solar system, is now in a position that is very close to Earth, so it can be seen by all fans without the use of a telescope.

Two years back, Mars was relatively nearer to Earth than this year which is around 58 million kilometres versus the new 62 million kilometres.

The nearly frontal illumination by sunlight will make its reddish colour much better seen from both hemispheres with or without the aid of a telescope.

This year, the opposition will be unique as Mars will also be closest to the Sun in its orbit, called the perihelion. But on 13th October, the Red Planet will be at its maximum apparent size and will be at its brightest this month. 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.

This happens because Mars will reach the nearest point on Earth during the early hours of Wednesday, Safar 27, 1442 AH, corresponding to October 14, 2020, at 2:18 am Doha local time, as it will be in the position of encounter with the sun on a phenomenon known astronomically as the phenomenon of Mars and the Sun's opposition.

Previously, the closest approach between Mars and Earth was recorded in 2003, when Mars was 55.7 million kilometres away.

And because this year's opposition is also close to the new moon, Mars will shine brighter without moonlight hampering, he writes. The next time the two planets get closer is scheduled for 2035, when the planet Earth is 56.9 million kilometres from Mars.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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