I saw this announcement last night on Space.com – See Mars rendezvous with the moon this Labor Day weekend: https://www.space.com/see-mars-moon-labor-day-2020-weekend-skywatching.html. The article also has a video clip. The article is longer, but decided to keep it brief. Next month, October 6th, is the closest Mars will get to Earth until 2035.
Every once in a while, something will appear in the sky that will attract the attention of even those who normally don’t bother looking up. It’s likely to be that way in the late-night hours of Saturday night/early Sunday morning (Sept. 5-6) when the waning gibbous moon, 86% illuminated, will appear in very close proximity to the now-brilliant planet Mars.
People who are unaware or have no advance notice will almost certainly wonder, as they cast a casual glance toward the moon on this holiday weekend night, just what is that “bright orange-yellow light” hovering just above the moon? Sometimes, such occasions bring with them a sudden rash of phone calls to local planetariums, weather offices, TV and radio stations and even police precincts.
Not a few of these calls excitedly inquire about “the mysterious UFO” that’s closely hovering in the vicinity of our natural satellite!
As a bonus, from the middle of South America and a narrow slice of western Africa, the moon will appear — for a short time — to hide or eclipse Mars from view during the predawn hours on Sunday morning. The actual term is called an occultation (Latin for “hiding”). An opportunity to see the moon occult a bright planet at night does not happen too often, so for those who are fortunate to live in the occultation zone, this upcoming event is one that really should not be missed.
Timings for many locations, as well as a map of the visibility zone of this “Mars eclipse,” courtesy of David Dunham of the International Occultation Timers Association (IOTA) can be found at lunar-occultations.com.
Previous Space Saturdays: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/space-saturdays/