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Photos of fiery Mars, nearly at its best in 2 years

Bright Mars and a meteor.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Veteran meteor observer Eliot Herman in Tucson used an automatic, all-sky camera to capture this cool image of a bright meteor and Mars over Tucson, Arizona, on September 22, 2020. He wrote: “Looks like it was shot from Mars – not really, of course – but it does look like Mars shot it toward Earth. First time I have caught such a conjunction.” View this image full-sized. Thank you, Eliot!

Chart: 4 positions of moon close to Mars near line of ecliptic, Mars just above horizon.

In late September and early October 2020, the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon will shine in the vicinity of brilliant red Mars! Read more.

A ridgeline in the background, a lake in the foreground, and red Mars reflecting in the lake.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Paulette Haws captured the planet Mars this past Monday evening, September 21, 2020. Mars is very bright now and fiery red, rising in the east not long after sunset. In this photo, Mars is shining above, and reflected in, Little Tupper Lake in New York state. Thanks, Paulette!

Red and orange sphere with white spot at pole.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Aurelian Neacsu in Visina, Dambovita, Romania, captured this telescopic view of Mars on September 16, 2020. You can’t see much of Mars’ surface when the red planet is at its farthest from Earth. But – as Earth catches up to Mars in the race of the planets – the distance between our two worlds is shrinking. Thank you, Aurelian!

Multiple bright green wavy curtains in the air with one red spot.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | David Kakuktinniq at Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada, also captured red Mars gleaming through the aurora borealis on September 12, 2020. He wrote: “Northern Lights over the Hudson Bay, with Mars near the center of the image.”

Moon and Mars rising above a ridgeline, with a glorious display of green northern lights filling most of the sky.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Abigail Atienza wrote: “I just want to share a photo of the waning gibbous moon and the red planet Mars (on the right) with the northern lights in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. September 6, 2020, 9:20 p.m. Road to Nowhere.” Thank you, Abigail! See more photos of early September’s moon and Mars.

The edge of the bright moon appearing above a ridgeline, with reddish dot of Mars above.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Eliot Herman captured this dramatic view of Mars this past weekend, when it was near the moon: “Moon and Mars clearing the ridgeline in Tucson, Arizona. The close conjunction of the moon and bright near-opposition Mars was a striking sight. The terminator of the moon shows the terrain picking up light on the craters and mountains leading to the observed discontinuities [the jagged appearance of the upper edge of the moon].” Thank you, Eliot! See more photos of early September’s moon and Mars.

The glowing moon and Mars above tall buildings along a street in Singapore.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Kannan A in Singapore captured the moon and Mars around 6:30 a.m. on September 5, 2020. He wrote: “The waning gibbous moon and planet Mars seen in the morning, descending toward the northwest of Singapore.” Thank you, Kannan A.See more photos of early September’s moon and Mars.

Bottom line: Photos from the EarthSky community of the bright planet Mars, now nearly at its best. Earth will pass between Mars and the sun – bringing the planet to a once-in-two-years opposition – on October 13, 2020.

Deborah Byrd

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