BY KENNETH McDONAGH: Sky watchers in Co Donegal who venture outside tonight after 11 p.m. local time and look east-southeast will likely take notice of the waning gibbous moon and a very bright yellowish-orange “star” glowing well above and to its left.
That “star,” however, is actually the Red Planet, Mars.
What will make this a rather eye-catching configuration is the brightness of Mars at magnitude -0.1; it now appears to mimic the brilliant star Arcturus both in brightness as well as colour.
Beginning after midnight you can make a direct comparison, as Arcturus will shine 40 degrees, or “four fists,” below and to the left of Mars.
Clear skies over the county tonight will make this once of the best chances to see this in a long time.
Even for those who view the night sky with more than a casual glance, seeing Mars stand out so brightly relative to the moon will likely be a surprise.
And don’t worry if you’re out for the evening – it won’t be the drink that’s making you see it. It is actually happening.
* Kenneth McDonagh is from the Donegal Weather Channel on Facebook.
YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR COMMENT BELOW
© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights Reserved
The copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.
Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldaily
Follow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldaily
Sell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.com