Mars opposition. Photo: NASA
Stargazers will be able to take a look at the planet Mars this month.
Like all planets, Earth and Mars orbit the Sun, but they do so at different speeds. The Earth orbits about twice as fast as Mars, so every two years or so, they connect with each other.
The Mars opposition is taking place this month, meaning that Mars and the Sun are on opposite sides of the earth and are looking at the red planet.
Derek Demeter, director of the Seminole State College Planetarium, said that this is the planet that has come closest to Earth for more than 15 years, making it larger than usual and providing an exceptionally detailed view.
"It's big enough to actually see surface features on the planet," Demeter said, "including the polar caps, some of the larger basins on Mars, giving you the feeling that you're actually looking at a planet instead of a tiny red dot. "
According to Demeter, Mars will rise from the southeastern night sky around 10am. The best time to see Mars is towards the end of the month.
The Central Florida Astronomical Society will be providing free telescope observations at the end of July.