The big event for our neighbor in the night sky is here. There is a lot of fascination with Mars being our closest planet and destination target for NASA. The red planet has been growing brighter in the night sky, and is currently the third brightest object, next to the moon and Venus. It is even outdoing Jupiter, and the view is getting even better. You will not need a telescope, but that will always help show more.
Here is a look at next two events for Mars this month and great NASA graphics with fun facts to learn more.
Why is Mars red? That is due to a high concentration of iron in the rocks. Here we will explore what else is happening, plus a bunch of fun facts that might serve as astronomy material for students.
The significance of the 13th is that Mars will be at opposition. That is when the planet is position exactly opposite the sun in reference to Earth. Imagine a full moon reaching the highest point in the midnight sky. It’s big, and bright with the full illumination face reflecting light from the sun. This is what Mars will be doing on the night of October 13, 2020.
Opposition While Closest Approach
Mars and Earth do not orbit the sun at the same time. This puts the two planets in a cycle of 14 months when opposition is reached. But this also coincides with the closeness of the orbits. This is not as close as August 2003 when we were the closest in 60,000 years. But it will be the closest for the next 15 years.
October 6 2020 = 38.57 million miles
Farthest Distance = 250 million miles.
This will be 7 times brighter!
How To Watch Mars?
- Rise in the EAST around the time of sunset (the opposite part of the sky) after 6:30 PM
- It will be overhead at midnight.
- Set in the WEST around the time of sunrise (the opposite part of the sky).
How Orbits Differ
Earth is closer to the sun and takes almost 1/2 the time to complete one orbit. This is why opposition occurs roughly every 2 years and 2 months.
Still A Good Show Into November
While we will gradually be spreading the distance, it will still very bright for the next few weeks. In fact, on October 29th, Mars will be very close to the Moon, with only 2º separation while is it just two days before going full.
Mars Fun Facts
Comparing The Size To Earth
Volume: 6 Mars can fit into 1 Earth
How Much You Would Weigh
Gravity On Mars
Weather On Mars
Mars Facts Infographic
Resource To Download For Teachers
14 Local Maryland Pages (and York PA)
We have made a page for Maryland Weather which gives you the current conditions for 14 present area locations. Many of these match up with the spots on our route. Please use this list below are reference. I will include them daily with my articles on the kids.
Maryland Weather Page
I wanted to keep it simple. Just the basics for a quick view at any time.
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Sunflower Season: Millers Farm Photos And Info
Help Solve The Mystery
Maryland Strong Love ❤️
My ‘bonus’ daughter made this map of Maryland a few years ago. We brought it back for needed positivity. Now on her pick of tanks, and this cool Maryland T for men or women.
Was Your County Not Included?
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Baltimore Weather At BWI May Not Be As Hot As Reported
Construction at the airport close to the weather station may be added artificial heat. Click here or the image for the details.
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