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
NASA’s car-size Mars rovers are awesome, versatile machines capable of traversing rugged terrain. But they’re not made to descend down the sides of craters. For that, NASA would need something like its DuAxel prototype rover, a wild concept that is two rovers in one.
When all together, DuAxel is a four-wheeled rover. The rear can anchor itself to the ground while the front goes free on two wheels. A tether holds the pieces together while the front section rappels down a steep slope. This could work well for exploring currently inaccessible crater walls on Mars.
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NASA put a DuAxel prototype through its paces in the Mojave Desert in California. “DuAxel performed extremely well in the field, successfully demonstrating its
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
The CNSA released new selfies of Tianwen-1 captured 15 million miles away from Earth
The Mars probe took images of itself using a tiny camera ejected from the spacecraft
Tianwen-1 is expected to reach the red planet in February 2021
Talk about a clever way to take self-portraits in space! Tianwen-1 has snapped some selfies while in outer space using a camera ejected from its spacecraft.
While on its way to Mars, Tianwen-1 sent home new images of itself captured 15 million miles away from Earth. They were released by the China National Space Administration earlier this month as part of the country’s national day celebrations.
The small camera the Mars probe used to snap selfies had wide-angle lenses on each side and took one photo every second. It sends the images it takes to Tianwen-1, which would then transmit the pictures to Earth.
Stargazers perk up — Mars is getting big and bright the coming week, as the sun, Earth and Mars line up close to a new moon on the night of Oct. 13.
The event that happens about every two years is called “opposition” in astronomy terms: the sun and Mars on opposite sides of Earth. From the earthling’s perspective, according to NASA, Mars rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west, and would stay up in the sky the whole night, setting in the west just as the sun rises.
Because we’re seeing the whole dayside of the red planet the whole week, it’s going to be ideal for viewing, writes Mikhail Kreslavsky, assistant research planetary scientist at University of California, Santa Cruz, in an email to NPR.
And because this year’s opposition is also close to the new moon, Mars will shine brighter without moonlight
Each week I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy and eclipses.
What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: October 12-18, 2020
This week it’s all about Mars, which will look its biggest, brightest and best in post-sunset skies since 2018 and, technically speaking, since 2003.
However, it’s also a week where the Moon wanes towards its New phase, meaning dark skies at night, gorgeous crescents in the early pre-dawn mornings early in the week, and in early evenings from Sunday.
MORE FROM FORBESWhat’s That Really Bright ‘Star’ In The Night Sky?By Jamie Carter
Mars is at its biggest and brightest right now as the Red Planet lines up with Earth on the same side of the Sun.
Every 26 months, the pair take up this arrangement, moving close together, before then diverging again on their separate orbits around our star.
Tuesday night sees the actual moment of what astronomers call “opposition”.
All three bodies will be in a straight line at 23:20 GMT (00:20 BST).
“But you don’t have to wait until the middle of the night; even now, at nine or 10 o’clock in the evening, you’ll easily see it over in the southeast,” says astrophotographer, Damian Peach. “You can’t miss it, it’s the brightest star-like object in that part of the sky,” he told BBC News.
Mars is putting on quite a show for skywatchers this month.
For most of October, Mars will be brighter in the night sky than anything else in its vicinity, offering people a clear view of the red planet. Mars is also days away from reaching “opposition,” a celestial alignment in which Earth, Mars and the sun form a straight line in space, with Earth in the middle.
Mars will be at opposition Oct. 13. On that day, Mars will rise as the sun sets, reach its peak in the night sky at midnight, and then set as the sun rises again. If it’s a clear night, skywatchers can expect the red planet to outshine anything else in its region of the sky.
Mars oppositions typically occur every 26 months. Since Earth is closer to the sun, it circles the star two times in roughly the time it takes Mars to