Two To Tango: Moon and Mars Put on The Best Show in The Sky

Astronomers, amateurs and professionals, are excited about the two celestial orbs tangling

“At night when the stars,
Light up my room,
I sit by myself,
Talking to the moon”
~ Bruno Mars’ Talking to the Moon

Before daybreak on May 14-15, 2020, the Red Planet Mars may not be talking to the Moon, but instead will be tangling with it. The two celestial bodies will seem extraordinarily close to each other, however, the moon lodges about 398,000 km from Earth, while Mars lies about 425 times further from Earth than the Moon.

The closest Mars and the moon will be close to each other is around 7:30 PM, the two will still be below the horizon. You’ll want to be awake about an hour before sunrise to catch the two getting cosy. This rare astronomical phenomenon is called Conjunction, wherein 2 astronomical objects appear close together in the sky, as seen from Earth -- truly a sight to behold.




According to the astronomical site,
Space.com, Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun will be the very bright orange-yellow ’star’ hovering about 4 degrees to the lower left of the moon. This makes Mars the eighth-brightest ‘star’ lighting up our skies. To be able to watch the planet, you’ll have to look towards the southeast—perfect time to put your phone’s compass app to use.



Earth’s natural satellite, the moon, will appear be in its third and last phase known as the Last Quarter moon or the half-moon, since we’ll be seeing exactly 50% of the moon's surface. It will rise around midnight at 7:30 PM and appear highest in the sky around the time dawn breaks. According to EarthSky.org, “You might still notice the half-lit quarter moon in a blue daytime sky, as morning progresses. It’ll set around midday.” So, if you’re an early riser, you won’t miss your chance to see both, the Last Quarter Moon as well as the Moon and Mars hitting it off together.


Image: Shutterstock 

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