Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Friday, July 27th, is a big night for astronomy. Three reasons: First, Mars will be at opposition--directly opposite the sun and making a 15-year close approach to Earth. Second, Mars and the full Moon will be in conjunction--less than 10 degrees apart. Third, the Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing the longest lunar eclipse in a century:

Almost everyone on Earth (except North Americans) can see the eclipse as the sunset-colored shadow of our planet swallows the Moon for almost 2 hours. During totality, the Moon will turn almost the same red color as Mars right beside it--an incredible sight.
Because Mars is opposite the sun, it will rise at sunset and stay up all night long.  The best time to look is around midnight when the Moon-Mars pair will be at their highest in the sky. The Red Planet will have no trouble being seen through the glare of the full Moon because Mars itself is so luminous--almost three times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.


1 comment:

Nimish Thaker said...

Wow, looks like an amazing spectre, thanks for letting us know. Not to be missed. The mid-night on 27th July means the night of 26th July (12:00 am - July 27) or the night of July 27 (12:00 am July 28)? Hope the clouds over Mumbai sky oblige.

 Talking about the current  Mumbai  Pollution