Mars is Closer Than Ever !


Destiny Gray, staff

Over this weekend, you could have seen a red-looking star close to the moon. Turns out, this was actually the red planet, Mars, that was visible in the night. All throughout October, you will be able to see Mars in the sky around midnight for those in the East. For those of us in the west, you can watch out for the pretty planet right before dawn sets in. 


The reason Mars is so visible is that we are nearing the Mars opposition! For a planet to be in opposition means that the Earth is orbiting between the sun and said planet. It just so happens that this October 13th is the Mars opposition. Since Mars and Earth do not orbit the sun in perfect circles, it takes Mars about twice as long to orbit the sun than it does Earth, so this particular opposition only happens every 2 years and 2 months. Mars will be shining so brightly this October, that it will even outshine Jupiter and take its place as the second brightest planet in our skies, still behind Venus, which is the 3rd brightest thing in our solar system. Although Mars will be at its brightest this month, make sure to watch out for Jupiter in the evenings, and maybe even catch Saturn not too far east of it.