Mars Will Be Extra Bright This Weekend During Opposition
For the past few weeks, Mars has been growing brighter and brighter, and starting this weekend, you can see our planetary neighbor the closest its been to Earth since 2003 as it approaches opposition.
Opposition means Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth.
The Earth, Sun and Mars align in opposition about once every two years, but Mars is only as bright as it will be this weekend about every 15 to 17 years when its position is closest to the sun, Rich Zurek, project scientist for NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter told the New York Times.
Mars will be at a distance of 35.8 million miles from Earth during its closest approach; the Red Planet is typically about 140 million miles away, according to NASA. The next time Mars will be this close will be in 2020.
During the opposition and closest approach, you’ll be able to identify Mars as shining, reddish-hue blob in the night sky. All you have to do is look up! Although you might have a tough time seeing this astronomical event against NYC’s city lights, other parts of the US will have clear views for four days before sunrise on July 31.
Mars will be brightest during its opposition on July 27 because the planet directly reflects sunlight back to Earth at opposition and will become fainter as sunlight is reflected at a slightly slanted angle, according to EarthSky. If you happen to miss Mars’ opposition and close approach, the planet has actually been brighter than usual all of July and will remain that way until September 7.
Feature image by Kevin Gill via Flickr.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.