October seems to be a great month for all the stargazers. So many celestial events are happening in this month, and even on the Halloween 2020 night, that you cannot miss any. By now, you must be knowing that Mars will be visible throughout October in the night sky and that will be the closest and opposite to the Sun on October 13, 2020. But, how to watch Mars in the night sky? Mars is out second closest cosmic cousin and has always been in our collective imagination. And since the red planet will be so close to our planet—a mere 62.1 million kilometres, it is obvious that stargazing is highly recommended. In this article, we bring you how to watch Mars in the sky on October 13 and more details about the upcoming celestial event.
According to Sky & Telescope, Mars will be opposite to the Sun in the sky. Earth will be situated directly between Mars and the Sun. As a result, Mars will rise as the Sun sets, and the red planet will set as the Sun rises. The celestial event will happen on October 13, and the planet will not be this near to us again until 2035. Besides, this year’s opposition is special because it occurs close to when Mars reaches the point in its orbit that is closest to the Sun, called perihelion.
Mars has a reputation for being the ‘red’ planet. But its colour in the night sky is a little more on the Halloween side of the spectrum. Since the planet will be so close to Earth, it will be bright, big and easy to see with our without a telescope. Note that Mars appears as a bright orange-red dot to the naked eye, like a little spot of glittering rust. Its distinctive colour is one clue you have found in the dark.
Mars will be visible for most of the night. Stargazers are advised to look to the eastern sky to catch it rising at night. When Mars and the Sun line up with Earth in the middle, the red planet is expected to be in opposition. It will rise in the east, as the Sun goes down, move across the sky and then set in the West, as the Sun goes up. NASA suggests, “Simply go outside and look up and, depending on your local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars.”
The upcoming celestial event is a special opportunity, and it will not happen again, until 2035. Mars would also not be comparably close and well-positioned for northern observers again until it reaches its opposition in 2052. So, make sure you don’t miss this out!
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 10, 2020 12:37 PM IS. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).
Mars, Earth, Tuesday
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