2020, October 6: Mars Closest

Mars in Pisces, October 6, 2020
2020, October 6: Mars is closest to Earth today. The is 2.6° to the lower right of Nu Piscium (ν Psc on the photo) and 0.3° to the lower left of Mu Piscium (μ Psc).

Bright Mars makes its closest approach to Earth today.  It appears as an overly bright star in the sky.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Mars makes its closest approach to Earth today until September 11, 2035.

About 2 hours after sunset find it low in the eastern sky.  At this time Jupiter and Saturn are in the south.  As Earth revolves, the planet appears to move westward.  Around midnight it is in the south and in the western sky before sunrise.

Today the Red Planet is 38.6 million miles away.  The planet appears as an overly bright star in the sky. 

This morning Mars appeared in the western sky before sunrise.  It shines from in front of the stars of Pisces.

As Mars revolves around the sun in an elliptical orbit, it is at varying distances as Earth passes by about every 26 months.

In a week, October 13, Mars is at opposition with the sun.  They appear in opposite directions in the sky.

The planet is retrograding – moving westward compared to the stars – in Pisces, an illusion as our faster moving planet passes the outer planets.

In the photo above, Mars is 2.6° to the lower right of Nu Piscium (ν Psc on the photo) and 0.3° to the lower left of Mu Piscium (μ Psc).

Use a binocular to observe the planet’s motion compared to the starry background as it retrogrades for about another month.

Read more about the planets during October.

The crescent moon, November 19, 2020

2021, August 12: Evening Sky, Lunar Dance

August 12, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward.

2021, May 13: The crescent moon is 3.2° to the upper left of Mercury.

2021, August 11: Waxing Moon, Evening Star

August 11, 2021:  The waxing crescent moon is to the upper left of Evening Star Venus this evening in the western sky.

The Crescent Moon, November 16, 2020

2021, August 10: Evening Star Venus, Crescent Moon

August 10, 2021:  The crescent moon is near Venus in the western sky after sunset.

2021, May 13: The crescent moon is 3.2° to the upper left of Mercury.

2021, August 9: Evening Moon, Mars

August 9, 2021: After the New moon yesterday morning, the crescent moon appears in the evening sky during bright twilight near Mars.

2021, May 13: Brilliant Venus, Mercury, and the crescent moon in the evening sky.

2021, August 3: Four Evening Planets: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter

August 3, 2021:  Four planets appear in the evening sky.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus and dim Mars are in the west after sunset.  A little later during the evening, Saturn and Jupiter are easily visible in the southeast.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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