Prepare to watch the red sky in July, because Mars will reach its brightest point since 2003. The astronomers also talked about a lengthy lunar eclipse.
Mars is going to reach opposition (which is a part of its orbit) where is placed opposite the Sun in the sky of Earth. This year is actually special, because it signifies how close it’s been to Earth in 15 years. We all know that Mars and the Earth orbit the Sun at different distances. Given the fact that Earth is closest to the Sun, it’s normal that it orbits faster than Mars.
The thing is that once in 2 years, the Earth, Mars and Sun form a straight line. This is called opposition. It will take place on the 27th of July and the closest approach of Mars will be at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT on the 31st of July. As said before, Mars will be at its brightest ever since 2003, the year when it came to the closest distance to Earth (34.7 million miles or 56 million kilometers) in about 60,000 years. In 2018, Mars will be situated at 35.8 million miles or 57.6 million km away. It’s been said that it will be about ten times brighter than normal.
Right now, Mars can be found in the southeast sky, in the Capricornus constellation. Between the 21st of July and the 3rd of August, Mars will be at its brightest. Of course, the Sun will set earlier around this period of time, so it will be just easier to see the planet in the sky.
Lots of people said that it’s possible that Mars to be as big as a full moon. This has happened ever since 2003, but that’s completely wrong.