TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! The Moon and Mars are in CONJUNCTION this evening, Friday, July 27! That means they line up together in the sky. This is also the same night as the OPPOSITION of Mars, when the Red Planet is opposite the Sun, so that Earth, Mars and the Sun line up in a straight line. For this reason, Mars is generally closest to the Earth and therefore at its brightest in the sky.

Mars is REALLY BRIGHT! I mean, it’s SO BRIGHT! BELIEVE IT!!! You can’t miss that bright “copper penny” color celestial object shining next to the Moon tonight! And be sure to keep watching Mars in the coming evenings after the Moon moves away so that you can see Mars alone in the dark sky without the brightness of the Moon nearby.

As reported previously, people in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia will be able to see Mars in conjunction with a TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON, the longest of the 21st century! This opposition-conjunction-eclipse is an astronomer three-fer, and won’t happen again in anyone’s lifetime! But you’ll miss the eclipse if you live in North America, where it will still be daytime during the eclipse.

While you’re looking, take a sideways glance over at SATURN, still lingering near the “dome” of the “teapot” of Sagittarius. Mars and Saturn will be sharing the southern sky for the rest of the summer.

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