With the current heatwave making the average bedroom in Marbella the temperature of an oven on full blast, sleeping outside seems like a sensible option. And if you needed another excuse to bed down on the terrace for the next few days, there is a stargazing feast that starts on Saturday night!
Tonight Mars and the Moon will form a dazzling conjunction – they obviously aren’t socially distancing. The stargazing spectacle, known as a conjunction, improves as night turns into the early hours of the morning.
Head out around midnight and look to the East. Obviously, the further you are from bright lights the easier it will be to spot Mars close to the waning gibbous Moon. The pair will then travel together – although in reality they are millions of miles apart -westwards across the sky before peaking at their highest point just before dawn.
In addition you should be able to spot Venus as well as a good number of meteors ahead of the Perseid meteor shower’s spectacular peak early next week.
If you have any trouble locating Mars, a stargazing mobile app like Night Sky will label the stars, planets, and more as you point your phone at the night sky.
Mars is set to look brighter and brighter every night this month and next ahead of reaching opposition, when Earth passes between it and the sun in October, its brightest. So, if you haven’t been watching Mars yet this summer, the conjunction with the moon marks the perfect time to start.
Having said that, the way 2020 has been going thus far, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were subject to a Martian invasion as we pass by…