2020 has not been a good year so far for people on earth. Well, the year has not ended yet. It is October and if you go outside and see a red star beside the moon in the sky, Yes! you are seeing mars. The visibility of the mars depends on the weather condition in your area.
The planet can be seen all over the month of October 2020 ascending more at midnight. It will be sparkling more in the east every evening and west ahead of dawn.
The planet generally does not show up like this. It is going to be closest on 6th October 2020, as said by NASA. It would make its best approach at 10:18 am ET at a distance of about 38,586,816 miles away from our planet. It is a very close distance to view mars from the earth and it won’t be seen this closer till 2035.
In 2003 the planet was seen 34.65 million miles away from the earth after nearly 60 thousand years. Our earth will be between the mars and the sun in the month of October. It is called mars opposition and will take place on October 13. From the sun mars will be directly on the opposite side of the earth.
The lowest margin between mars and earth is 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) but this margin does not happen much. Both the planets do not orbit the sun in proper circles and not even on the same plane. They have elliptical orbits that are oval.
If both the planets had fully circled orbits they would have the same minimum distance all the time. Jupiter makes a great impact on the orbit of Mars. The red planet comes closer to the earth and gives the best view of it to us once or twice every 15 to 17 years.
Earth generally takes 365 days to orbit around the sun while mars take about 687 days. When the earth is closer to the sun mars moves away from the sun.
NASA 2020 Mars mission is currently on the way to mars with the Perseverance rover. It would land on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. Also, The United Arab Emirates’ Hope probe and China’s Tianwen-1 are on their way to the mars too.
Well, it can be said that at least something good is happening in October all over the globe in 2020. If you miss seeing mars close approach towards earth this year you can again see it on Dec 8, 2022.