April 8, 2014

Awesome alignment: Mars, Earth, sun to line up Tuesday

Posted by tourdemars to General News at April 8, 2014 1:58 PM

Skywatchers will get a rare treat Tuesday night when Mars, Earth and the sun will be arranged in a nearly straight line. Every two years, Mars reaches a point in its orbit called "opposition," when the planet lies directly opposite the sun in Earth's sky, according to Astronomy magazine. This means Mars rises near sunset and remains visible all night long as it moves nearly overhead across the night sky. It will be a bright burnt orange color, NASA's Mars Exploration Program reports, and almost 10 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky. "From our perspective on our spinning world, Mars rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west," NASA reports. "Then, after staying up in the sky the entire night, Mars sets in the west just as the sun rises in the east."
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