We are Fast Approaching a Close Encounter with Mars -The Red Planet
If you don’t think 2020 has been exciting enough, maybe this Mars close approach to Earth in progress might add just a little excitement…
via nemesis maturity:
Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter this Fall, one of the best since 2003, and their separation is rapidly shrinking–negative 9 km/s as of Sep. 1st. You are literally approaching the Red Planet.
Just a few days ago the brightness of Mars surpassed that of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Suddenly, Mars is almost bright enough to see in daylight and an easy target for backyard telescopes.
The best is yet to come. By the night of closest approach on Oct. 6th (0.4149 AU), Mars will more than double in brightness again, outshining everything in the night sky except Venus and the Moon. Throughout this apparition, the south pole will remain tilted toward Earth, giving observers a good view of the breakup of the ice cap as Martian spring turns into summer.
Can’t wait? Right now, a good time to look is just before daybreak when Mars is high in the southern sky. Keep watching as twilight creeps up the sky. The planet’s burnt orange hue looks beautiful when surrounded by the day’s first hint of morning blue.