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Watching the Skies: Mars enters the opposition



GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan (WOOD) – Mars has been very bright this month and the peak of brightness will come this week when it finds itself in opposition.

A planet’s opposition occurs when the Earth moves between the planet and the sun. In the period of opposition, a planet is brighter from our observation point on Earth.

Mars will be opposite the sun in the sky, which means it will be east at sunset and west at sunrise. Around midnight, look for the red planet up south.

The official time of the opposition is around 19:00. Tuesday. Mars will be brighter in opposition this year than it will again until 2035.

Mars is currently the fourth brightest celestial object in the night sky, surpassing Jupiter in brightness. Only the sun, the moon and Venus shine brighter.

Venus still holds the title of the third brightest celestial object. To locate Venus, look east before sunrise. The moon will be close to Venus in the east in the early hours of Tuesday and Wednesday.

While Jupiter is not as bright as Mars, it is still a beautiful sight this time of year. Look south-southwest at sunset to see Jupiter. Saturn is to the left of Jupiter.

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