You can see Mars next to the bright star Aldebaran, the eye of the bull Taurus, on Tuesday evening (September 6).
Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. It will appear towards the end of March on Tuesday morning Wednesday (September 7). The pair will be visible high in the south before sunrise, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory observation guide in September.
In September, Mars rises about three and a half hours after sunset and is near the meridian at dawn. Although the Red Planet is closest to the orange Aldebaran at the beginning of the month, it will soon begin to move east towards another bright star named Betelgeuse.
Related: Night Sky September 2022: What You Can See Tonight [maps]
Aldebaran is a red giant about 44 times the size of our Sun and located about 65 light years away. Its brightness ranges from 0.75 to 0.95, making it visible to the naked eye. Aldebaran is thought to host at least one exoplanet several times the size of Jupiter. As Mars moves away from Aldebaran and approaches Betelgeuse, the trio forms a “red triangle” in the morning sky.
“Then the Red Planet looks set to hit the brakes and halt its eastward movement to hover in this triangle for the next month or so,” NASA wrote in its September viewing guide.
Betelgeuse is also a red supergiant and one of the largest stars visible to the naked eye. It is usually the tenth brightest star in the night sky and the second brightest star in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of 0.58.
(Image credit: NASA/JPL Caltech) (will open in a new tab)
You can check out our guides to the best binoculars and the best telescopes to see Mars and the bright stars of Aldebaran and Betelgeuse. If you’re hoping to get a good picture of the Red Planet, check out our recommendations for the best cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s Note: If you have photographed Mars near Aldebaran and would like to share it with Space.com readers, please send your photos, comments, your name and location to spacephotos@.
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