When showing a show with the moon this weekend, be amazed by the great beautiful glow of the mysterious Mars.
The Red Planet has been getting bigger and brighter every day since July 2018 as it takes a much closer approach to Earth.
Friday In the evening (October 2) at 8:00 pm Mars will appear near the full moon above the northeastern horizon.
But this is no ordinary moonlight.
It’s a mini moon – a full moon that is farthest from Earth in its orbit each month – so it appears to be slightly smaller than usual.
This is actually the first of two consecutive mini-moons, i.e. the Mars and Moon show will make Saturday night look even more spectacular.
“It’s best when Mars and the Moon are only about a handsbone on October 3rd,” Says amateur astronomer Ian Musgrave.
The Red Planet will be in its biggest spot next week
Mars will be closest to Earth on October 6 at 14.10 UTC.
Depending on the Australian time zone where you live, it will be Tuesday night (WA and NT) or early Wednesday, October 7.
But let no one say it will be bigger than the moon – not even a mini moon.
Every time Mars reaches its nearest point it makes these internet hoax rounds (the astronomical term is called ‘Perigee’), but from where we stand Mars is 60 times smaller than the Moon.
Every two years Mars and Earth approach each other – because it takes 26 months for Mars to orbit the Sun compared to Earth 12 – but the distance between them varies each time.
This system will be 62.07 million kilometers from Earth.
Mars continues to be bright and shiny until Wednesday, October 14th When it reaches ‘resistance’, in other words it is in direct line with the earth and the sun.
Jonty Horner, an astronomer at the University of Southern Queensland, explains that the reason for the one-week difference between close approach and resistance lies in the elliptical shape of the Red Planet’s orbit.
“If the orbits were exactly circular, close approach and resistance would occur simultaneously,” says Professor Horner.
Close approach Opposition occurs when combined with the ‘perihelion’ – the closest point to the Martian sun. This happens every 16 years.
In 2018, Mars and Earth were separated by 57.6 million kilometers, but in 2003 they were only 55.7 million kilometers apart – the closest they were in 60,000 years.
Although not that close, This resistance will be better until 2033.
After October 14, Mars will begin to fade, but it will remain one of the brightest objects in the sky until the end of the month, Dr. Muskrave added.
“By the end of the month it will be brighter than Jupiter,” he says.
Venus, Leo and the Moon
Tuesday alone did not shine in the first half of the month.
Venus is very close to Regulus, The brightest star in the constellation of Leo, in the morning eastern sky October 3 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“They’re going to be less than half a finger,” Dr. Muskrave said.
Then, Ann October 14, Venus and Regulus form a beautiful triangle With the crescent moon in the early morning sky.
Year Orionites meteor shower illuminates between early morning skies October 21 – 23.
The meteor shower is caused by dust from the Earth’s Halley’s comet, which caused the Eta Aquarius to rain earlier this year.
It’s not as spectacular as Etta Aquarius, but as you could see At least 13 meteors per hour Rain peak from 4:00 AM to 5:00 AM If you are in a dark area.
Not only does the meteor begin to rise high in the sky about an hour before sunrise, but the first quarter of the moon is just below the horizon.
“The best time to see this is on the morning of the 22nd, but on the 21st and 23rd you will find good meteor rates,” says Dr. Muskrave.
To find orionites, scan the northern sky and search for ‘Saspan’. It is actually the belt of the Orion galaxy.
The meteorite will come out from a point below the belt near the big orange star called Petalgeus and shoot through the belt.
“If you can see the stars of the belt, you have a good chance of seeing a meteorite,” says Dr. Musgrave.
If you are very lucky, you may even see a meteor shooter from the left from the Taurus galaxy next door.
The southern Tarot meteor shower (formed from debris from the comet NK) peaks on October 10, but runs throughout the month.
However, the rates are very low – only two meteors per hour at the peak.
Although the ratios are very low, Professor Horner says that the Dorit meteorite is brighter than the Orionite meteorite.
“Its Orionite meteorite if it moves fast, it’s a darit if it moves slowly,” he says.