Tonight, Oct. 13, Mars will be at its brightest and most visible, with the Red Planet near its closest point to Earth and directly opposite the sun offering skywatchers a treat that will not be seen again until 2035.
During opposition, Mars, Earth, and the sun form a straight line, with Earth in the middle. As a result, the Red Planet appears bigger, brighter, and redder than usual — and the planet won’t get this close to Earth again until 2035, according to a statement from Sky & Telescope.
“You don’t need a spacecraft to see Mars! You can’t miss it in the eastern sky just after sunset or toward the south by midnight local time. Today Mars is at opposition, meaning it’s positioned directly opposite the Sun, which makes it especially bright. https://go.nasa.gov/34hp376,” said NASA on their Twitter.
If you’re looking to catch Mars at its most effulgent, all you have to do is look east an hour or two after sunset. Mars will be brighter than any other object/star in the sky at midnight.
You’ll also see a reddish tinge to Mars, resulting from the iron oxide-rich surface that gives it a rusty hue.