If Mars seems unusually large and bright in the night sky this weekend, it’s not your imagination.
The Red Planet will appear brightest from Friday night through Monday night as it makes its closest approach to Earth since 2003. Mars will be a “mere” 36 million miles from Earth, according to NASA, before both planets travel farther away from each other as they orbit the sun.
“It’s magnificent. It’s as bright as an airplane landing light,” said Widener University astronomer Harry Augensen. “Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red color, you really can’t miss it in the sky.”
The red planet is easily visible with the naked eye, but folks with a telescope may be able to see some details of the planet, including the planet’s ice caps, according to AccuWeather.