Newsletter Archive

Final Note on the Opposition of Mars

October 16, 2020

One final note before the 2020 Opposition of Mars passes into history:

You may recall from my previous posts how you can find Mars a little above the eastern horizon after sunset when the sun is a little below the western horizon, how Saturn and Jupiter are in between those two in the southern sky, and how the arc connecting all four bodies shows you the solar system in the sky. Well, today, Friday the 16th of October, is the new moon ... which means that for the next two weeks, you can watch the moon march right down the line. Starting this weekend, you may be able to see a thin crescent moon over the sunset between Jupiter and the Sun. (Don't wait for dark. The thin crescent in the fading glow of the sunset is beautiful, especially with planets nearby. And if you want a challenge, you may be able to find the crescent moon following the sun, even before the sun goes down.) As the days go by the moon will pass Jupiter, and then Saturn, and two weeks from tomorrow, on Halloween, the moon will be full, at opposition, alongside Mars.