Mars will be close enough to Earth to see it with your naked eye tonight as well as on the 13th, an event that won't occur for another fifteen years.

That's right, tonight the red planet, Mars, will be close enough to Earth to see it with your naked eye, an event that hasn't occurred since 2003. According to NASA, the red planet will "only" be 38.6 million miles away, which is an occurrence that happens ONLY every 15 years.

The best view for Texans happens around midnight, central time, and you should be able to see the red hue of the planet without a telescope if the sky is clear.

On the subject of viewing the sky at night, you might be surprised to learn that a good set of binoculars can be just as efficient as some telescopes, in case you happen to own a pair of binoculars instead of a telescope. In fact, if you own a pair of binoculars you are doing way better than when Galileo first charted the stars with his primitive telescope in the 1600s.

Check out this article about the Master of the Stars: Galileo here.

Did you know that NASA offers visitors to their webpage detailed information and interactive data with real-time video of NASA's Perseverance Rover which is headed to Mars? It's fascinating and you can view it here.

Perseverance is scheduled to land on Mars Feb. 18th, 2021. 

Over the years we've learned so much about the second-smallest planet in our solar system like the fact that Earth and Mars have about the same landmass and that sunsets on Mars are blue. It's incredible to think in just a few short months our knowledge of Mars, named after the Roman God of War, will increase exponentially adding new facts and information to the debate of whether life could indeed inhabit Mars in the future as it has believed to have done so in the past.

If you miss your chance to see Mars tonight, you'll have another unique opportunity to see it Oct. 13, when it will be in opposition with the sun creating a slightly brighter sky to view it then as well.

Tonight you will be looking for the bright red-orange planet close to the moon. You can also download several sky charts like this one from Sky and Telescope.com to help you find Mars tonight as well.

Something to think about tonight while planet gazing... According to multiple theories, if you could drive your car straight up towards space at 100 mph you would reach outer space in an hour. Road trip anyone?

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