Mars will be seen in the sky this weekend
March 3, 2012
Astronomers are waiting to see the Red Planet in the night sky this weekend, when Mars is at its closest point to Earth and is visible to the naked eye.
The event, known as Opposition, occurs once every 26 months, when the orbits of Earth and Mars are aligned so that the two planets form a relatively straight line with the sun.
This cosmic event is called “Opposition” because the planet is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.
However, due to the elliptical orbit of Mars around the Sun, Mars will be closest to us on Monday, when it will be around from 100.7 millions to 62.6 millions of miles away.
But the best opportunity to see Mars will be on Saturday night, when it will be visible without a telescope as a red dot in the night sky.
With a telescope, you can see the layers of the red planet and details of the ice surface.
Mars will be visible in the constellation Leo, which is the brightest star at the time of the Opposition.
The Opposition of Mars in 2003 occurred when Mars had its closest distance from the Sun. Another chance to see the Red Planet is on March 7, when Mars is near the full moon.