Red Planet and Reddish Moon

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By Ronald Williams

On Friday night, October 2, the Harvest Moon, made rosy by smoke from fires,  glided very close to the red planet Mars at 10:00 PM with only about 1 degree separation. That's less than the width of your pinky finger held at arm's length. Not only were they so close, but Mars was about twice as bright as usual since it's only days away from making its closest approach to Earth on October 6. That makes it dazzling bright red, rivaling Jupiter.  On October 13 Mars will reach "opposition," when the Sun, Earth and Mars form a straight line in space. Then it will be exactly opposite from the Sun in Earth's sky: it will rise at sunset, reach its highest point at midnight, then set at sunrise, just opposite of the Sun.

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macpuzl Oct 03, 2020 02:35 PM
Red Planet and Reddish Moon

Nice shot! I was looking at the scene after the ISS pass (shrouded by smoke), and from my location it looked as though Mars was shining its red light onto the top of the Moon.

notme Oct 03, 2020 11:17 AM
Red Planet and Reddish Moon

The moon was bright orange when it rose Thursday and Friday nights, but I don't have a camera that is able to capture how it looked. I told someone it looked like a rising pumpkin.

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