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Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 @ 4:01 AM
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2018 @ 7:40 PM
— Clear skies are expected to develop, which will set the stage for some great nights to stargaze.
Mars has been a great visible planet to find in the sky at night and this week it will be close to the moon! Tonight, head outside around sunset. The moon will be big and bright, in a waxing gibbous phase, in the eastern sky after the sun goes down. The best time to find the lineup will be around 10 or 11 p.m. in the southeastern/southern sky once the moon and Mars are higher up.
Even though Mars has been a bright feature in the sky since July, don’t get your hopes up that it will appear “as big as the moon” on Aug. 27. This is an internet hoax that is far from true.
Mars is much further away from Earth than the moon, so it will never appear more than a speck in our night sky. The rumor likely has to do with the orbits of Mars and Earth. About every 15 years, the orbits of the two allow for a “close” approach. This was a year when Mars was a little closer than normal, which is why it has been so bright. Close is relative though, as it is still very far from Earth.
Don’t forget to share a photo using the hashtag #SkyWitness7.