Washington: On October 13, Planet Mars will be opposite the Sun and closest to the sky.
On that date, Mars will be on the opposite side – in the sky opposite the Sun. Earth is located directly between Mars and the Sun. As a result, Sky & Telescope predicts that Mars will rise as the sun rises as the sun sets.
Opposition – the most important Mars date on the Stargazers’ calendar – is the brightest planet on Earth and close to its maximum size in telescopes. However, Sky & Telescope said that due to the shapes and directions of the planets’ orbits, Mars and Earth were actually separated by 62 million kilometers on Tuesday, October 6th.
It is 160 times farther away than Mars. This planet will not be near us again until 2035.
When the planets orbit the Sun, the Earth’s opposition to Mars occurs about 26 months after it reaches Earth.
This year’s opposition is special because it occurs when Mars reaches its nearest perihelion to the Sun in its orbit.
The planet’s orbit is clearly circular (its eccentricities are 0.009 and 0.00 for a perfect circle), so it can sometimes be 21 million kilometers closer or farther from the Sun than Mars. The Red Planet reached its perihelion on August 3 this year and has been slowly moving away from the Sun since that date.
Although Mars was somewhat closer to Earth in 2018, at a distance of 58 million km, observers in the Northern Hemisphere are more opposed to 2020 because the Red Planet is higher in the sky because it is farther north, where telescopes can observe the planet through the Earth’s atmosphere in a shorter and more direct way.
“In fact, Mars will not be relatively close and in a good position for northern observers until opposition arrives in 2052, which makes this year’s opposition even more remarkable,” said Sky & Telescope Consulting Editor.
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