Stargazers perk up — Mars is getting big and bright the coming week, as the sun, Earth and Mars line up close to a new moon on the night of Oct. 13.
The event that happens about every two years is called “opposition” in astronomy terms: the sun and Mars on opposite sides of Earth. From the earthling’s perspective, according to NASA, Mars rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west, and would stay up in the sky the whole night, setting in the west just as the sun rises.
Because we’re seeing the whole dayside of the red planet the whole week, it’s going to be ideal for viewing, writes Mikhail Kreslavsky, assistant research planetary scientist at University of California, Santa Cruz, in an email to NPR.
And because this year’s opposition is also close to the new moon, Mars will shine brighter without moonlight