Red Alert – God of War Coming into View!

As anyone who follows my blog or tweets knows I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi, which has fuelled a love of Astronomy over the years (or is that the other way around?). Sometimes something special happens in our skies that may only occur once or only a few times in our very short lifetimes as humans (The universe has time on its hands). This to my mind means that sometimes we should all put in a little effort in to viewing these often spectacular sights, even if it means freezing our bits off at 2 o’clock one winter’s morning.

Over the next few nights our nearest planetary neighbour Mars will be nice big and bright in the late night sky, this only happens every so often due to the way Mars and Earth rotate around the Sun in relativity to one another. If I have my facts and figures right, Mars will be coming within a distance of 99,000,000 Km of the Earth (that’s about 62ish million miles), this is not the closest it has even been, but hay that is still pretty close, and the closest it has and will be for a while. The best time to spot the God of War will be in the Southeast around 23:00 on the 28th-29th of Jan. (Although Mars should be mostly visible for most of January).

With the naked eye Mars is going to look nothing more that a bright red star in the sky, if you’re one of the lucky ones that own a telescope, you’re in for a treat. Something to keep in mind is your eyes; yes those little round squashy things in your head. They don’t work well moving from a bright environment to a dark, so you may just miss the glowing red star if you’re not careful. It takes around 30 minutes for your eyesight to adjust from ‘light bleaching’ to be able to see clearly in the dark, happy stargazing.


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