See Mars at its brightest in over a decade

3 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Sunday, May 22 2016 May 22, 2016 Sunday, May 22, 2016 6:07:00 PM CDT May 22, 2016 in Weather
By: Kenton Gewecke, KOMU 8 Weathercaster
Look East Southeast and see Mars, Saturn, and Antares.

COLUMBIA - Clear skies in mid-Missouri on Sunday night will allow Missourians a great look at the night sky. Tonight marks the Mars opposition. This is when Mars and the Sun are opposite each other, making the orange planet very bright for us on Earth. In fact, Mars will be the brightest it has been since November 2005. You can also see Saturn and Antares, the brightest star in the Scorpius constellation (see image above). Mars will remain bright for several weeks. The opposition of Mars will occur again in July 2018.

Also of note, there was a Blue Moon on Saturday night. No, to much disappointment, the moon doesn't actually appear blue. The moon is "Blue" when it is full for a second time in one of the twelve months of the year. However, it is also considered a Blue Moon when it will be full four times in one season; in this case, spring. The moon can then be called "Blue" the third and/or fourth time it is full in one season. This is the third full moon of spring. The fourth full moon will occur on the morning on June 20th, which will also coincide with the Summer Solstice and summer will officially begin around the same time. 

While Mars will be bright for several weeks, tonight will be Missourian's best chance to see it because several rounds of showers and thunderstorms will move through in the week to come. For the full forecast straight from the Live Doppler 8 First Alert Weather Center watch KOMU 8 newscasts and go to our Weather Page and download the free KOMU Weather App on Apple and Android devices. Stay tuned all week for continuous coverage and tracking on KOMU 8.

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