While from our perspective here on Earth both the Moon and Mars appear to move through our sky, former orbits Earth but the latter orbits the Sun, just as our Earth does. Because both Mars and Earth orbit the Sun in the same direction but at different speeds, alignments like the one coming this weekend occur regularly.
Coming off the peak of the full moon on Wednesday, the Moon will be about 85% illuminated for the alignment, in a stage known as waning gibbous.
The Moon will make its closest approach to the red planet on Saturday night in the eastern sky through the pre-dawn on Sunday morning in the western sky. They’ll be just half a degree apart.
Mars is moving towards its opposition in October, and as it does it is looking bigger and brighter by the week.
Also this weekend, in the early morning sky on Sunday, Venus will be extremely bright about a third of the way up in the eastern sky.
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World news – GB – Moon and Mars will align this weekend