This Week, Mars Is Real Close To Earth, And You Can See It Without A Telescope

This Week, Mars Is Real Close To Earth, And You Can See It Without A Telescope

Basically, this is the closest Mars gets to the Earth till 2035.

Image Source: Getty Images/Derek Berwin

Mars, the fourth planet of the solar system is quite close to the sun this week, according to The Guardian. What's surprising is that this is the closest the planet will get to Earth for the next 15 years, so it's definitely a sight to behold. Mars is currently sitting just north of the celestial equator, which means people from both the hemispheres can catch quite a clear glimpse of the planet. As per NASA, Mars Close Approach is Oct. 6, 2020. That is the point in Mars' orbit when it comes closest to Earth, this time at about 38.6 million miles (62.07 million kilometers) from our planet. Mars will be visible for much of the night in the southern sky and is at its highest point at about midnight.


Since it's positioned in a place with clear skies, it's impossible to miss out on the bright red planet. As per Forbes, this is the closest it gets till 2035. Basically, Earth and Mars rotate in the same direction, but at different speeds, so the distance they cover also differs. Thus, the Earth only overtakes Mars once every 780 days. Unlike the Earth, Mars’s seasons are determined by its highly elliptical orbit, and not its axial tilt. So, Martian “winter” occurs when it’s farthest from the Sun, and “summer” when it’s closest. When the Martian summer aligns with Earth's closest approach, it appears the largest. 


Mars remains bright and celestially well-positioned for viewing all throughout October, as this year, Earth overtakes Mars near Mars’s perihelion. In 2003, Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years! It won't be that close again until the year 2287. It is understood that the whole of October will be an opportunity for us to catch Mars in the sky with our naked eye. The next time Mars gets close to the Earth will be on Dec. 8, 2022. However, it looks like this month is quite exciting, in terms of celestial events, especially on the last day of the month, also known as Halloween. 


A report by CNN states that on 31st, the night sky will be illuminated by a blue moon, the second full moon in a month. It is a relatively rare occurence, and it will happen only once every two and a half years, according to NASA. It's the first instance of a blue moon in the Americas since March 2018. It's also the first time a full moon has appeared on Halloween, for all time zones since 1944, according to Farmers' Almanac. It's literally once in a blue moon, but this does not mean that the moon will look blue in the sky. When the phrase "once in a blue moon" was coined, it meant something so rare you'd be lucky (or unlucky) to see in your lifetime, according to NASA.


People shared their experiences and tips on Facebook. Lori Noel wrote: Yes, Mars has been wonderful in this last week with clear skies. I can see a gold/pink tinge to the planet, from its natural colour. I don't think it's just my imagination. Arjemar Abdullah questioned: If Mars is getting closer every 15 years... Does that mean they should launch rockets to Mars every 15 years to catch up and beat the year travel. John Garcia shared: Yes but the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one. Carol Joyce added: Mars looks so amazing and big in the night sky this week next to the moon !!


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