Strange Universe 10/4/20 | WAMC

Strange Universe 10/4/20

Oct 4, 2020

This is it – the week that Mars is closest to Earth. It won't come this near again until 2035 or appear this bright. Finding it is a no-brainer. Just step out anytime of night and look around. The night has two stars brighter than any others. The white one is the planet Jupiter. The orange one is Mars. The Martian orbit is oval and lopsided. Every 26 months when Earth and Mars meet, the encounter occurs at either a narrow gap between our orbits, as it did in August 2003, or the widest possible gap, which happened in 2012. Whenever we meet in the early autumn, we meet at nearly its closest and best, which makes it very large through backyard telescopes, and simply brilliant in the night sky