Get ready to see Mars! The second smallest planet in the solar system will be bigger than normal on May 22, as it marks the opposition of Mars. Find out how to see Mars and more info about the planet right here!
Ever wanted to get a glimpse of a planet? Then May 22 is your lucky day! The opposition of Mars takes place on May 22, which means the red planet will be brighter than normal as it will be directly across from the sun in orbit. This only happens every two years, so HollywoodLife.com wants to make sure you don’t miss it!
1. It will basically be visible as soon as the sun sets.
The planet will begin to rise in the East around 8:10 p.m. eastern time, reaching its peak around midnight before setting at around 5:40 a.m. (Monday morning) eastern time. If you live in the South, you’ll actually be able to see it a little longer, and if you’re in the North, you’ll have a shorter time to view it. Catch a live stream of Mars at opposition right here!
2. You’ll be able to see it all night the way you can see the sun all day.
In fact, Mars will be rising in the East and setting in the West the same way the sun does. This means that as the sun starts to rise on May 23, Mars will be going away in the opposite direction. So if you’re looking to follow Mars in its opposition orbit, make sure you’re going East to West!
3. This is the closest Mars has been to the Earth since 2005.
It takes about 26 months for Mars to orbit the sun, and it takes Earth 12 months to do so. On this cycle, Mars and Earth are at their closest every 2 years and 2 months. The two planets will be even closer than they are now, but this is the closest they’ve been in 11 years. Funny thing is, “close” still means 46.8 million miles away from each other!
4. There’s a tool to calculate when you can best see Mars!
Yep, some geniuses put together a little tool to help people in different time zones figure out exactly when they should be looking for the bigger-than-normal Mars. You can find out when you should be looking up to the sky right here!
5. If you miss the opposition tonight, you still have a decent chance of seeing it until May 30.
May 30 is actually considered Mars Close Approach, which means that it’s the time when the red planet is closest to Earth. This will take place at 5:34 p.m. eastern time on May 30, which happens to be Memorial Day this year. So never fear if you don’t have the opportunity to check out the planet tonight!
Will you be looking for Mars tonight, HollywoodLifers? Have you seen a planet before? Tell us below!