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Mountain Skies: Mars Shines At Its Brightest On July 31


Last updated 7/16/2018 at 2:34pm

The Planets

In describing the planets, I often point out that Venus and Jupiter are, after the moon, the brightest objects in the nighttime sky. Even Sirius, the Dog Star, the brightest star in the night sky, is not as prominent as these planets. But, this month Mars joins the club. As Earth approaches this beautiful red planet’s closest point on July 31, Mars will increase in brilliance until it outshines the giant Jupiter (but not Venus). This is the closest and, thus, the brightest it’s been since 2003. Earth passes Mars about every 26 months. Within a few days of this point o...

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