Mars shines brightly in October as it makes closest pass to Earth in 15 years | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Mars shines brightly in October as it makes closest pass to Earth in 15 years

The spotlight is on Mars for night time viewing this Thanksgiving weekend, as it's close proximity to Earth makes it one of the brightest objects in the night sky.
Image Credit: File Photo
October 13, 2020 - 7:00 AM

The Earth’s neighbouring planet is this month as close as it will get to us for the next 15 years.

Mars came within 38,568,816 miles of Earth earlier this week, the closest it will be to us until September, 2035.

The red planet can be as far away from Earth as 250 million miles due to the fact both planets travel in an elliptical orbit around the sun.

This Thanksgiving weekend, Mars will be visible to Kamloops and Okanagan residents high in the eastern sky, appearing as a ‘stunning, reddish light,’ according to space.com

The planet will be highly visible through the entire month of October, with best viewing around midnight when Mars reaches its highest point in the sky.

According to blogs.nasa.gov, Mars passes close enough to Earth this month to outshine Jupiter, making it the third brightest object in the nighttime sky, after the Moon and Venus.

The most striking thing about Mars’ appearance is its red colour. It will look like a bright star to the naked eye, but grows dramatically in size when seen through a telescope.

According to Environment Canada, the best night for Mars viewing this long weekend will be Monday, with a forecast calling for cloudy periods in Kamloops and the Okanagan.


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