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
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