Next month, get ready for the most beautiful view you’ve ever had of the night sky. Mars will reach its closest point to Earth, making the planet extremely bright and easy to spot on the sky. The perihelic opposition phenomenon happens regularly, but only once every 15 or 17 years. Therefore, you should take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy the nighttime show.
Watch Mars at its brightest point in 15 years
For the next six weeks, you will be able to see an exquisite spectacle of lights on the night sky. What you will witness will be planet Mars appearing the brightest it’s been in 15 years. Earth and the Red Planet will get closest to each other, allowing us to see Mars in all its splendor.
The phenomenon that will make everything possible is called perihelic opposition. When this happens, the orbits of the two planets align and they get close to one another. More precisely, Earth will pass right between Mars and the sun. Since the distance between them will shorten, Mars will appear extremely bright.
The perihelic opposition aligns the orbits of Mars and Earth
There are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t miss the perihelic opposition. Apart from its beauty, the phenomenon is also rare. It only happens every 15 or 17 years. Therefore, Mars hasn’t appeared so bright since the months of June and July in 2003.
The perihelic opposition will reach its fullest point on July 31st. Therefore, on this day, the Red Planet will appear brightest. At that point, it will be about 35.8 million years away from Earth. Also, the good news is you won’t need any advanced equipment to look at Mars, as it will be visible with the naked eye. Apart from the brightest stars on the sky, the Red Planet will stand out the most.
Image source: Flickr