Mars

Mars shadows Jupiter

Mars is brighter now than it has been in the last 15 years. So go outside when it is dark and view the red planet with the naked eye.

On July 31, the red planet comes extremely close to the earth.

© Shutterstock

In July and August, Marsalle bleaches objects in the night sky (except the moon and Venus).

Even the clear planet Jupiter is overshadowed. At the beginning of September, Mars is the third brightest object in the night sky.

Mars and the earth do not revolve around the sun as quickly. As a result, the Earth catches up with Mars every two years and 50 days.

Mars is coming extremely close

Moreover, both planets do not make a perfect circle around the sun and do not have the same orbit. As a result, the two planets are not equally close to each other at every encounter.

This year Mars is coming extremely close, with the shortest distance in the morning of July 31, 2018, as it is only 57,590,630 kilometers away from us.

It has happened a few times in the last 60,000 years that we have come so close to our neighbor planet.

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This is how you proceed

  • Mars is extremely bright in July and August, and comes closest to it July 31 around 1:00 am, when the planet is low in the sky in the south.

  • You can see the red planet with the naked eye. With simple binoculars, the color becomes more striking if you do not focusso that Mars forms a large, fuzzy circle.

  • With a telescope you can see details on the surface of Mars, such as dark and light spots and the ice caps on the poles. You need a strong magnification, so an eyepiece with a short focal length.

Video: Mars and Jupiter Lunar Shadow Transit (April 2020).

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