Mars will appear especially bright Tuesday night, at opposition with the sun

Opposition describes the occasion marked by the sun, Earth and Mars all lining up perfectly. Earth is in the middle, so the sun is on one side while Mars is on the other. That means Mars will be at the opposite point in the sky, above the horizon after the sun has set.

It also means Mars will appear fully illuminated from the vantage point of Earth-dwellers, causing it to appear especially bright.

Where to look

Mars was closest to Earth a week ago on Oct. 6, in fact the closest in 15 years, but appears more brilliant Tuesday night. That’s because it’s in a better position to reflect more sunlight back at us. Last week, it was doing so at a slanted angle, acutely diminishing its apparent magnitude.

If you’re looking to catch Mars at its most effulgent, all you have to do is look east an hour or

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Mars will burn bright in the sky tonight as it reaches opposition

Ultra realisic 3d rendering of Mars and Milky way in the backround. Image uses large 46k textures for detailed appereance of the planet surface. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.
Mars will burn brightly in the sky as it reaches opposition (Getty/NASA)

Mars will shine in the sky on Tuesday night as the planet lines up with Earth, looking big and bright as it reaches “opposition”.

Every 26 months, the two planets move close together, until Earth lines up with Mars on the same side of the sun. 

Tuesday night sees the moment of opposition, with the planets lining up at just after 11pm. 

At that point, Mars should be visible to the south east from the UK, astrophotographer Damian Peach told the BBC. 

Peach said, “Even at nine or 10 o’clock in the evening, you’ll easily see it over in the southeast. You can’t miss it, it’s the brightest star-like object in that part of the sky.”

The Red Planet actually made its closest approach to our planet on 6 October, when it was 38,586,816 miles away from Earth

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What Is Mars Opposition? How, When And Where To Watch Red Planet Shine Bright

KEY POINTS

  • Mars will be in opposition Oct. 13
  • A planet is in opposition when it aligns with the Earth and the Sun
  • Viewers can watch the event through Virtual Telescope Project’s Mars opposition viewing

Viewers can observe the Mars opposition Oct. 13 where the planet can be seen in the night sky.

Now that we’ve seen Mars hit its closest approach to Earth on Oct. 6, we can now expect to see it beaming in the night sky this Tuesday, when it will align with Earth and the Sun, giving viewers from Earth the closest view they can get for the next 15 years. The next time we’ll see Mars this close will be in 2035, according to an article by Space.com.

Mars and Earth, as well as all the other planets in the solar system, orbit the Sun at different distances and speeds. But every two years or

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