Where will Mars be in the Sky tonight and how can you see it?
Get your telescopes at the ready, as Mars will go into opposition tonight.
The Red Planet will shine extra bright tonight, in an event that only occurs every two years.
Mars has gradually been brightening in the Earth’s sky in the run up to the event, surpassing Jupiter on September 24 to become the second brightest planet after Venus.
But where will it be in the sky tonight, and how can you see it?
Where will Mars be in the Sky tonight?
Mars can be found by looking eastwards across from Pisces, a constellation that can be seen at latitudes between +90° and -65°.
Every 26 months or so, Mars and Earth align on the same side of the Sun, this is called Mars opposition – the Sun, Earth and Mars will form a straight line.
Mars will be at its highest at midnight, and is best viewed between 7pm and 7am.
How can you see Mars?
Fortunately, Mars will be bright enough to view with the naked eye – even with tonight’s cloudy conditions.
It will be the third brightest thing in the sky tonight, after the Moon and Venus.
Look out for a big orangey-white circle in the sky.
For the best view of Mars, you should travel to an area with low light pollution (such as the countryside) and give your eyes 20 minutes to adjust to the dark.
If you can’t get to the countryside or coast, try a balcony or rooftop and turn off your indoor lights.
If you want to get an extra-special close-up then Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona is streaming a special ‘Virtual Mars Series’ of planet-gazing events on YouTube.
During these live webcasts you’ll be able to see real-time close-ups of the red planet through a huge ‘virtual telescope.’
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