Look up! Mars expected to light up night sky

Look Up! Mars Expected to Light Up Night Sky
Look Up! Mars Expected to Light Up Night Sky

If you catch yourself looking up at the night sky this evening, you might notice what looks like a bright star with an orange tint. That's actually the planet Mars. Here's HLN:

'The planet is expected to line up with Earth and the Sun. It happens every two years. You should be able to get a good look tonight.'

KMPH says 'Astronomers say to look for a bright orange dot in the sky tonight. That is Mars and it should be 10 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky.'

Out of this world photos

This event happens every two years because the planets are relatively close to each other. But this year it's a little different. National Geographic reports: 'This year's event creates the perfect cosmic alignment to have Mars shine its biggest and brightest in the evening sky in nearly seven years.'

According to Space.com, 'As March gives way to April, the distance between the two planets is shrinking by about 300 kilometers every minute.'

Astronomers know this event as the 'opposition of Mars,' which sounds like some sort of alien thriller. But it's really when Mars and the Sun are on opposite sides of the sky.

'Mars rises in the east at sunset and soars almost overhead at midnight.'

If you're an astronomy junkie, you'll be happy to know Mars will make another appearance next week.

On April 14, at 8:53 a.m. EST, Mars will come within 57.4 million miles of Earth, its closest approach since January 2008. That also happens to be the same night as the total lunar eclipse.

Sounds like we are in for quite the astronomical treat.