China News Service, Guangzhou, December 7 (Guo Jun and Li Jianji) According to the prediction of Guangzhou Wuyang Planetarium, on December 8 this year, Mars will oppose the Sun, and the apparent brightness of Mars will be minus 1.9 magnitude, the highest in two years.
This will also be the brightest Mars in the next 10 years (before June 2033).
Mars is the outer planet of the earth, and it opposes the sun once every 779 days on average.
On August 27 this year, Mars "sunsets in the west", that is, Mars is on the west side of the sun, and the angular distance from the sun is exactly equal to 90 degrees. Schematic diagram of the opposition sun).
On this day, the earth, Mars and the sun form a right triangle with the right angle at the earth.
In the diagram of Mars opposition to the Sun, the directions of revolution and rotation of Mars and the Earth are counterclockwise.
On December 8, Mars opposes the sun, that is, the angular distance between Mars and the sun is exactly equal to 180 degrees. Mars is the brightest, with an apparent brightness of minus 1.9 magnitude, suitable for observation around 0:00 am.
On March 17 next year, Mars will "shine in the east", that is, Mars is to the east of the sun, and the angular distance from the sun is exactly equal to 90 degrees. The apparent brightness of Mars is 0.7 magnitude, which is suitable for observation in the first half of the night (night).
Since then, Mars has become farther and farther away from the earth, and its brightness has become less bright.
Schematic diagram of Mars opposition.
Drawn by Li Xuyan
On the day when Mars opposes the Sun, across my country, the sun sets in the southwest, Mars rises in the northeast, and Mars is visible all night long.
The apparent brightness of Mars has reached the maximum value in two years, and the brightest star in the night sky, "Sirius", also appears to be eclipsed by Mars.
Before and after opposition, Mars retrogrades from east to west in Taurus, and its color is orange-red, which is very eye-catching.
Around 0 o'clock in the morning, Mars is in the middle of the sky.
In the area of about 24 degrees north latitude in our country, Mars is located above the heads of the public when it is in the middle of the sky, and Mars is almost vertical to the ground.
In recent days, the transit time of Mars around the world has been about 5 minutes earlier than the previous day every day, that is, Mars rises in the east earlier than the previous day every day.
It is worth mentioning that it is very rare for Mars opposition to the sun to coincide with the special astronomical phenomenon that the full moon covers Mars (visible in Europe and North America).
In our country, on the night when Mars opposes the sun, there will be a full moon accompanied by Mars. Mars is on the west side of the moon, and the distance between the two is relatively close.
The last Mars opposition occurred on October 14, 2020, and the next one will occur on January 16, 2025.