This phenomenon is a configuration when the Sun-Earth-Mars are in a straight line. Mars is on the opposite side of the Sun, so it is known as the ‘opposition’.
With this configuration, Mars will be closer to Earth. In effect, Mars will appear brighter than other nights.
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Researcher at the Space Research Center for the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Andi Prince, said that this phenomenon occurs on average once every 25.6 months (2.13 years), with the last phenomenon occurring on July 27 2018 and 23 August 2020.
“This year’s Mars opposition will take place on December 8 at 12.35 WIB/13.35 WITA/14.35 WIB,” he said, quoted by the official website of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).EIGHT), Monday (5/12).
This Mars opposition phenomenon will be witnessed in Indonesia from the Northeast around sunset. Then, Mars culminates in the north with an altitude between 54.3 degrees in Rote Ndao to 70.9 degrees in Sabang City.
Mars visibility ends the next morning in the Northwest around sunrise. On the opposite this time, Mars is 82.2 million kilometers from Earth, with a brightness of -1.87, “or 1.5 times brighter than the star Sirius.”
“This is what then makes the brightness of Mars at opposition varies between -2.88 to -1.22. When compared with the brightest star from Earth which has a magnitude of -1.46; namely Sirius, the brightness of Mars at opposition varies between 0.8 to 3 .7 times brighter,” said Andi.
The angular size of Mars reaches 17.0 arc seconds, so its brightness is only 40 percent of the brightness when dealing with Mars in 2003 and 2020.
Andi said the planetary opposition can be witnessed without using optical aids as long as the weather is clear, the field of view is free from obstructions and the observation site is free from light pollution.
Mars opposition will occur again on January 16 2025 and February 19 2027. In general, said Andi. there will be no impact on Earth’s inhabitants when this phenomenon occurs.
This time the Mars opposition also coincides with the December Full Moon phenomenon, which peaks on December 8 at 11.08 WIB/12.08 WITA/13.08 WIT.
This phenomenon marks the culmination of the retrograde (reverse) of the red planet. Mars retrograde started on October 30, 2022 and ended on January 13, 2023.