Mars makes closest approach to Earth for next 15 Years on October 6

October 6 - The red planet will be making its closest approach to Earth in 15 years. This will give us an incredible look at our planetary neighbour. 

A week after this, Mars will reach opposition. An opposition is when Earth is located in a straight line directly between the sun and another orbiting planet in our solar system. Mars oppositions happen around every other year. This year’s opposition is on Oct 13, however a week earlier will be the best time to observe Mars. 

When Mars is this close to Earth, amateur astronomers can see details of the planet’s surface with their telescope, but many factors can play into the quality of observing. During the 2018 opposition the surface of Mars was covered by a massive dust storm. However, things are shaping up for some incredible observing! 

Mars will be very large and bright in the sky in upcoming weeks, becoming brighter than Jupiter on September 24, and remaining this bright well into November.

In conjunction with this astronomical event taking place Oct. 6, RASC Outreach Coordinator Jenna Hinds will be hosting a livestream as part of the “Insider’s Guide to the Galaxy” series at 3:30pm (ET). Members of the public are more than welcome to join. More information on the livestream can be found at www.rasc.ca/homebound-astronomy.

 

Author: 
mempub
eNews date: 
Tuesday, September 29, 2020