Mars Shows Off This Month Before Blood Moon Eclipse

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Skygazers will be seeing red this month as Mars reaches opposition with the Sun, offering Earth observers their closest view of the planet since 2003.Earth and Mars orbit the Sun at different distances, and thus different speeds. Every two years, the three celestial bodies form a straight line—an event known as opposition.This summer, the opposition begins on July 27, with the Red Planet’s closest approach at 1 a.m. ET on July 31.“Not all Mars oppositions are equal, though, and this is Mars’ brightest appearance in our sky in nearly 15 years,” according to EarthSky.At the start of the month, Mars shines about eight times brighter than Saturn; by month’s end, it will exceed the ringed planet by some 15 times.At its most luminous, Mars will supersede Jupiter as the fourth brightest celestial object—after the Sun, Moon, and Venus—from July 7 to Sept. 7.“You can’t miss Mars right now,” the website said. “Even [the] drenching moonline won’t be able to wash the Red Planet from the nighttime sky.”All through July (especially in the final days), grab your binoculars and look up around midnight for the best views; also keep an eye out for Saturn, with its golden shine.This ain’t got nothing on the 2003 Mars opposition, which brought it closer and made it appear brighter than it had in some 60,000 years. But the July event is nothing to sneeze at.In fact, it’s something you should try to catch, as the next extra-close Martian opposition will occur in September 2035.Besides, folks in the Eastern Hemisphere—Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia—will likely be staring at the sky, anyway, hoping to catch a glimpse of the second total lunar eclipse of the year.On July 27, the Moon passes through the center of Earth’s shadow for the first time in seven years. Neither “super” nor “blue,” this month’s Micro Blood Moon eclipse will be the longest of the 21st century, lasting approximately 103 minutes.center_img Scientists Discover Possible Interstellar VisitorWater Vapor Detected on Potentially ‘Habitable’ Planet last_img read more