Mars shines like a pumpkin

HALLOWE’EN revellers will get a real treat tonight when Mars shines down like a brilliant pumpkin.
The planet will be the brightest object in the night sky as it makes its closest approach to Earth.
It will not be as near to us again for another 13 years.
UK space expert Robin Scagell, of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said last night: “Don’t miss this trick. Mars will be easy to find shining down to the East.
“Mars’s orangey-red colour is unmistakable. Binoculars will enhance the colour – and if you look through even a small telescope, its little disk will resemble a ripe pumpkin.”
Astronomers with big telescopes are watching a massive sandstorm half the size of Europe that has suddenly blown up on Mars.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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