The best night to look up and see Mars shining and hiding behind the moon.
Tonight, if there are no clouds and the sky is clear, you will be able to see the red planet shine in a way that you can not see it at any other time of the year. Reports from the Royal Observatory of Madrid and the National Geographic Institute say that right now, the red planet is in the part of its orbit that is closest to Earth. It will also be in opposition to the Sun, which will make it shine brighter than it does at any other time of the year (IGN).
This week, you will be able to see four planets in the sky after sunset. Mars will rise in the east earlier and earlier, and it will reach its brightest point of the year. Jupiter will be the brightest star in the sky in the south, with Saturn to its right. Mercury will be shining near the horizon in the west.
Esta semana tras la puesta del Sol podrás ver cuatro planetas en el cielo. Marte saldrá cada vez más pronto por el este, alcanzará su máximo brillo anual. Júpiter dominará el cielo por el sur con Saturno a su derecha, y hacia el oeste, verás brillar a Mercurio cerca del horizonte pic.twitter.com/zJvWAS0BbQRELATED
— Real Observatorio (@RObsMadrid) December 2, 2022
Mars will be seen together with the moon in the rest of the world. “Mars’ oppositions happen about every 26 months, when the Earth gets close to the red planet as it goes around the Sun. The last fight was in October 2020, and the next one will not be until January 2025 “explains the Sky and Telescope event note.
Also, the red planet will be in a place in the sky that will cause the moon to move ahead near dawn. This will hide it from people who can and want to get up early to see the show in much of North America, northern Mexico, the majority of Europe, and North Africa.
Mars will be the main star in the sky at dawn this week. On August 8, the red planet will be on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. This means that it will be at its brightest and largest for the year. Also, the full Moon will pass in front of it early that morning, hiding it for almost half an hour.
Hey, @NASAMoon. Meet me tonight?https://t.co/WDZsgNS4wU pic.twitter.com/KoDoRJoyrq
— NASA Mars (@NASAMars) December 7, 2022
Tonight, do not miss it! This is the “magical” astronomical event where the Moon “eats” Mars.
Tonight, Mars will go behind the Moon, which is a rare thing to see in the sky. It will also be the earliest sunset of the year.
North America, Europe, and North Africa will all be able to see the event.
NASA says that the sun will rise above the horizon on Wednesday just before 6 p.m. ET, and that a few hours later, December’s full moon, which has been called “the Cold Moon,” will temporarily cover up Mars.
These factors are what make the night of this December 7th particularly special.
The last full moon of the year is on Wednesday. The NASA website says that its name comes from the “long and cold nights” of winter.
But the main event of the night is not just the full moon. Mars will also be at its brightest so far this year, and the red planet will briefly hide behind Earth’s satellite.
Mars will be right next to the Sun on the horizon, and if the weather is good, you may also be able to see Jupiter and Saturn in the sky.
A NASA video says that December 7 is one of those magical times when the sky changes in a big way right in front of our eyes.
Mars is the second planet from the sun that is closest to Earth. It goes around the sun once every 687 Earth days.
On December 1, it was at its closest point to Earth. This happens only once every 2 years and 6 months. Mars is about 38.6 million miles (62 million kilometers) away when it is closest to Earth. It is about 250 million miles away at the farthest (402 million kilometers).
“A few times a year, the Moon goes in front of the planets in the night sky. In fact, it usually hides Mars at least a few times a year, according to NASA. “But each occultation can only be seen from a small part of Earth’s surface, so it is rare for one place on our planet to see them often.”
The next time something like this will happen is in January 2025.
How to see Mars go behind the moon?
It will be a secret for about an hour. The NASA report says that the full moon will be at its most beautiful around 11:08 ET.
Most of the US will be able to see the eclipse, except for most of Alaska and the coastal states in the southeast.
Mars will go away at 6:30 p.m. in Los Angeles and come back at 7:30 p.m. (PT).
If the weather does not let them, there are ways to watch the event online. Here are a few choices.
At 9 p.m., there will also be a live stream from the Griffith Observatory at the University of California (ET).
Around 9 p.m., broadcasts will also start from the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin and the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona (ET).
At 9 p.m., videos from the Carnegie Astronomy YouTube channel will start to play (ET).
Andrew McCarthy who explores the universe from a backyard in Arizona and has more than 150k Thousand followers on twitter is recording the whole thing
Tonight: the moon passes in front of Mars. I plan on capturing this event simultaneously with multiple telescopes to produce the best possible photos for you! pic.twitter.com/4ReRXw6NZn
— Andrew McCarthy (@AJamesMcCarthy) December 8, 2022
Rafael Munoz of the Serrana de Ronda Astronomical Association said that the event will be visible at dawn in all of Spain except the Canary Islands. “At about 6:30 a.m. on December 8 (the Day of the Immaculate Conception), Mars will be hidden by the Moon in our latitudes, starting on the left side of our satellite (the lower edge) and reappearing about half an hour later on the right side of the same satellite,” Moz explains.
The start and end times of the moon passing in front of Mars in different cities
The eclipse will happen in A Corua between 6:14 and 7:04, in Bilbao between 6:15 and 7:07, in Barcelona between 6:18 and 7:09, in Madrid between 6:21 and 7:07, and in Seville between 6:31 and 7:04. If you want to find out about other cities, you can look at this list. The start time for the occultation of Mars by the Moon in each city is given in universal time (UT), which is one hour later than in the peninsula. The event can be seen with the naked eye or with binoculars or a small telescope for a better look.