Stargazers, astronomy enthusiasts and Mars lovers should mark their calendars as the red planet, Mars will be seen closest to Earth for a little while on October 13. An occurrence like this will not be seen again until 2035.
This will happen as Mars will be opposite the Sun and on that date, Earth will be situated directly between Mars and the Sun. With the rotation and revolution of Mars and Earth taking place simultaneously, Mars will rise as the Sunsets and it will set as the Sun rises. It will also be significant since the planet will be at its brightest and near its maximum apparent size in telescopes.
According to Sky and Telescope, Mars was actually closest to Earth on Tuesday, October 6, separated by just 62 million kilometres (39 million miles) because of the shapes and orientations of the planets’ orbits. The red planet is more than 160 times farther than the moon and will not be this close again until 2035.
To see this spectacular view, you would have to hope that the skies are clear in the evening when the planet will appear in the east direction. Mars will be in its bright, campfire-orange glory which you might mistake for a star. It will be easy to spot the planet since nothing will be as bright as the red planet that day.
The planet will move to the south direction by midnight. If you own a high-quality telescope, you will be able to have a glimpse of the planet’s surface. The planet which looks like a star to the naked eye will appear as clearly as the moon if you use a telescope at a magnification of about 80 times.
However, do not fall for rumours that Mars will appear as big as the full moon, we have to keep science in mind here.