Astronomical Events 2014: Watch the ‘Biggest’ and the ‘Brightest’ Mars on April 8 and April 14; When and Where to View it Live
By jaskiran kaur | April 8, 2014 1:21 PM EST
Planet Mars will take spotlight in the night sky of April, this week. In one of the much awaited astronomical events, Mars will align with Earth and Sun on Tuesday night, April 8, 2014. On this day, Mars will reach what is called "opposition," according to io9.com. It doesn't end here, because in the following week the Earth will move closer to the Red Planet. Its proximity will be more than it has been in over six years.
According to the report, April 2014 is the "best" month to take a look at the red planet. In every two years, Mars reaches this point called "opposition" and this is when the Earth and Mars are closest to each other.
According to USA Today report based on NASA's Mars Exploration Program report, during this astronomical event, "Mars rises near sunset" and one can view it all night long while it "moves nearly overhead across the night sky." At this time, the planet appears to be "bright burnt orange color" in the night sky. Also, it is said to be 10 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky during this time.
When and Where to View 'Brightest' and the 'Biggest' Mars in April 2014 Night Sky?
Two days in April 2014 when sky watchers can look at "brightest" and the "biggest" Mars in the night sky are Tuesday, April 8, 2014 and on Monday, April 14, 2014, according to io9.com.
On April 8, 2014, the alignment will be such that Earth will come between Mars and the Sun. During the occurrence of this "opposition" event Mars will be opposite to the Sun in the sky as it rises in the East just as the Sun descents in the west.
On April 14, 2014, Mars and Earth will come close. Sky gazers can enjoy the night by witnessing two celestial events. On this night, Mars can be viewed its "biggest in more than six years." But the event concurs with the rare celestial event, the total lunar eclipse. Moon and Mars will be "blazing red in the night sky," as described by the Web site. On this night, Earth will reportedly come as close as 57 million miles (92 million kilometers).
Sky watchers can see the Red Planet rising from the eastern horizon around the sunset time. The planet will move toward the western horizon the rest of the night and can be spotted as a bright orange spot in the night sky.
For those who are going to sky watch this astronomical event on April 8 2014, "Mars will be shining at -1.5 magnitude in the constellation Virgo," according to Examiner. Even though the best way to watch the bright, big Mars is through your own eyes, but people can also witness the alignment of Mars, Sun and Earth through live stream video feed of Mars opposition provided by SLOOH and Virtual Telescope Project.
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