On that date the planet will be in line with the Earth and Sun and from the ground will appear to be opposite the Sun in the sky (at opposition).
This year Mars remains fairly distant from Earth and never comes closer to us than 88 million km (or 55 million miles) but at opposition it will still appear to be brighter than all the other objects in the sky, apart from the Sun, Moon, Venus and Jupiter.
Around midnight, Mars will be high in the south, when it will be an unmistakeable sight to observers in the UK. The planet will look like a bright red dot, located in front of the stars of the constellation of Gemini and above the more familiar grouping of Orion. With moderate-sized telescopes, careful observers should be able to see hints of dusky markings on the Martian surface.
Robert Massey | alfa
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