Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mars is at opposition...

this weekend, meaning that the Earth and the red planet are in alignment on the same side of the Sun, and it's also the closet the two planets will approach each other in 2012.  Here's a map view of the solar system showing the positions of all the planets, and a sky map if you want to go out around midnight and locate it in the night sky.  Look toward the south and up, and it'll be the bright red object in Leo.  (Here's a more advanced sky map if you want to track the motion of Mars over the next few months and into late summer.)

NOTE:  Just a little east of Mars, Saturn will be glowing bright yellow in Virgo, very near the hot white-blue star Spica.

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