Monday, March 5, 2012

Mars at opposition tonight

Well it looks like the clouds have cleared just in time.

Image Credit: NASA

Tonight Mars is closest to the Earth, making largest (as seen in a telescope) and it's brightest for this visit. About once every 2 years our orbit and Mars line up where there is a straight line from the Sun, through the Earth, and onto Mars. This is called "opposition" when Mars in opposite the Sun in our sky, and thus it rises just as the sun sets, and stay up all night. It is hard to miss its reddish beacon  in the east. By 7 or 8 pm it is high in the east, and the brightest object in that part of the sky. In case you have any doubts about its location, you can have the Moon help you find it. as it passes nearby this Wednesday.

For more on Mars see http://earthsky.org/tonight/mars-comes-closest-to-earth-on-march-5-2012

-tom

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