New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: Mars will appear the biggest and brightest tonight (October 13) since 2003. The Red Planet gets close to the Earth in every 2 years and 2 months but, it will not come this close for another 15 years. So, if you are a space enthusiast, then don't miss the magical view in the sky tonight. Read on to know more about why Mars shines along Earth’s horizon in the Northern Hemisphere.

NASA scientists explained that during the 'Opposition' (like in October 2020), Earth passes near Mars, so it outshines Jupiter to become the brightest object alongside Moon and Venus.

At its furthest, Mars reaches about 250 million miles (400 million km) from Earth. But, during opposition, it gets nearly seven times closer (around 40 million miles/ 60 million km) to Earth, like its happening on October 13. According to the scientists, it will remain that way well into November. The Sun, Earth and Mars will be in a straight line at 23:20 GMT but the Red Planet will be clearly visible before it happens. It will shine from dusk to dawn will be three times brighter than its regular visibility.

According to the scientists, this year, the two planets witnessed exceptional proximity and will not be coming this close for the next 15 years.

Sharing this information on its blog, NASA wrote, "When it comes to observing Mars around opposition, telescopes will show more of the planet’s details, such as dark and light regions on Mars’ surface, and the prominent south polar ice cap, which will be tilted towards the Earth. Due to the turbulence of our atmosphere, these details can be hard to see, especially in smaller telescopes."

People usually wonder if they can see Mars through eyes or a telescope is mandatory. You can enjoy the fiery planet by keeping your eye on it. Only amateur astronomers use a color video camera attached to their telescope to negate the blurring caused by the air.

Posted By: Srishti Goel