Popular Science

Forget the Blood Moon, the Red Planet is waiting for you tonight

Mars is at its closest and clearest right now. You know you want to look at it.
mars opposition hubble

Mars, as seen on July 18, 2018


Though news has been trending about the blood moon for weeks now in the U.S., it will only be visible to people in the Eastern hemisphere . And though a “blood moon” is a pretty amazing phenomenon for sky-gazers to witness, there’s another celestial event happening on July 27 that American can see: Mars.

And not just Mars, a little pinprick in the sky. Mars in all its shining glory, sitting near its closest point in opposition. This will be the brightest the Red Planet has been since 2003. During that event, known as the Great Opposition, the two planets were only 34.65 million miles apart, the closest they’d come in 60,000 years. This weekend, Mars will be 35.8 million miles away. That sounds like a lot (and, honestly, it is a lot), but think of this: normally, the Red Planet is 140 million miles away from Earth.

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