Categories: Science

How to watch Mars rule the night sky in October

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Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 are the dates to remember for the full brightness of Mars and its up-close encounter with the Earth.

The Red Planet, Mars, is here to showcase its spectacle all month long this October of this year. With its glimmering orange-red color, we can witness its glory most—especially this Oct. 6, where you will catch its near glimpse and Oct. 13 in its opposition.

It is best to Spot the Red Planet with Telescope on October 6

According to CNET, Mars will have its best view on the 6th of October. This could also be a good day to dust-off the telescope and gaze at the beauty of planet Mars. NASA shared its artist view of the planet’s close approach with reference to July 2018’s nearest approach. This year, the minimum distance is 38.6 million miles from 2018’s distance or 3 million miles farther.

There’s more for October 13 – the Opposition

If you want to see a “full Mars,” the 13th of October is the date to remember. According to NASA, the planet Mars and the Sun will line-up with Planet Earth in the middle, and it is said that Mars is in opposition.

This is also the time when Mars will rise in the east while the sun is setting down. Then Mars will set in the west while the sun is coming up, rising. This is the best opportunity to track the Red Planet’s movement.

Lastly, according to NASA, you have to wait for another two years before this occurrence happens again.

Mars as we know it

Known to many as the Red Planet, the planet has its own distinct orange-red color. It is easier to spot the planet in the east around this time when the sun goes down and the dark comes in. You will easily notice a distinctive color in the sea of the dark sky, and that is humbling Mars.

“Simply go outside and look up,” as NASA is saying. The visibility of the red planet depends on the weather conditions in your localities. But if the weather permits, you will see the planet brightly.

Mars and Earth are like race track runners, based on its orbit model. Earth catches up with slow Mars and takes the lead, and this happens every 26 months, according to NASA’S blog What’s Up published this month.

We still have a month-long opportunity to gaze on the glory of the Red Planet. And just as this is unfolding, there are other astronomical stunts we should expect as the blue moon will showcase its beauty on the 31st of October.

The month of October is full of astronomical spectacles we do not want to miss out on.

Images used courtesy of Facts Verse/YouTube Screenshot.

Monica Santos

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Monica Santos

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