For 10 days, Mars will shine the brightest it has since 2003
There will be a special appearance in the sky Saturday night.
Mars will be shining the brightest that it has in well over a decade and people will be able to make out certain details on the planet, said Elaina Hyde, astronomer and assistant professor at York University.
“It will appear brighter in the sky and through telescopes, we will be able to make out more features,” said Hyde.
All of this is a result of Mars Opposition — a specific alignment in the solar system where Earth will be directly between Mars and the sun. Mars Opposition happens about every two years, but this year is particularly noteworthy because it’s the closest the red planet can get to Earth.
“It’s going to be a lot better for observing, a lot better to look at through telescopes, like our one-metre telescope on campus, and it will be very, very fun to watch at night just with your naked eye.”
It’s set to fully align on Oct. 13 when various details on the surface of the red planet, such as the southern polar cap and volcanoes, will be visible.
But details will start to be visible Saturday night and throughout the days leading up to Oct. 13.