If you have not been checking out the night sky this weekend you have been missing some fantastic natural phenomenon. The moon put on a display Friday night as did the red planet. Though despite what your Facebook news feed might have told you Mars will never be as big in the night sky as the moon.
It will be fairly bright for the next few days as well as it is in, what NASA refers to as, opposition. Which means right now the Earth and Mars as close as they get to each other in their orbits and this particular go around it is the closest we will have been to Mars since 2003, and the closest we will be until 2287. Space.com put out a nice video about the subject.
Through Hubble’s Lens: Mars and Saturn Near Opposition – Exclusive Interview
If you are interested in giving this special view of Mars a good look it is recommended that you use binoculars or a telescope for the full effect but it will still appear a bit brighter and bigger to the naked eye.
To see it you will have to turn your attention toward the Moon and then look just below it. And if for any reason clouds are obscuring your view you can lean on projects like the Virtual Telescope for online viewing. But how ever you get your eyes on this experience you should enjoy it while you can as there won’t be another like it for at least 30 years.
Image by the Weather Network.