We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shutterstock/Artsiom P
The Red Planet

Mars set to be visible next to the full moon tonight

The planet will be “extremely bright to the naked eye” from this evening.

STARGAZERS ARE IN for a treat tonight as Mars is set to appear next to the full moon in an “extremely rare sight”. 

The red planet will be visible to everyone in Ireland from dusk until dawn.

Mars comes close to Earth roughly every 2.1 years and will be “exceptionally bright to the naked eye” this evening, according to David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine.

“To have the full moon very close to it while Mars is so bright is an extremely rare sight,” he said. 

Though it will look just as close, Mars will actually be 86 million kilometres from Earth whereas the Moon will only be 0.4 million kilometres away, 200 times closer than Mars is.

“As people stand looking at this marvellous sight in evening skies they can spare a thought that Mars is actually twice as wide as the Moon, but being 200 times further away makes it look just like a bright ‘dot’ compared to the Moon’s huge disk,” Moore said.

To spot the planet tonight, people should look east from around 7pm when Mars and the Moon will be rising. It will likely be visible until well after midnight.

If you don’t see it tonight, Mars will be visible every evening with the naked eye as an extremely bright ‘star’ from now until well into the New Year. 

Next month, the planet will pass even closer to the Moon and will pass behind it on the morning of 8 December.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel