Mars will be the brightest it’s been in two years as it undergoes what’s called Mars opposition, an orbital placement that puts the Earth directly between the sun and the Red Planet.
As a result, Mars will be brightly illuminated by the sun’s rays, making it the brightest object in the Earth’s sky, just behind the sun and moon.
“From our perspective on our spinning world, Mars rises in the east just as the sun sets in the west. Then, after staying up in the sky the entire night, Mars sets in the west just as the sun rises in the east,” NASA explains on its website.
It’s a phenomenon that happens once every two years, about the time the Red Planet takes to completely orbit the sun.
On Sunday, NASA estimates that Mars will be 47.4 million miles away from the Earth.
“But even if you have a small telescope, the disc of Mars will be big enough to see details and maybe even the polar cap.”
That’s when Mars will make its closest approach to the Earth since 2005, coming about 46.8 million miles away.
By mid-June, it will start to become faint, as Mars and Earth move farther apart in their orbits around the sun, NASA explains.