Turn your eyes toward the sky on the evening of Dec. 7 to view a rare celestial event, as the full moon occults Mars at opposition. To say the Red Planet is “at opposition” means that it is essentially on the opposite side of the sky from the sun. The full moon will pass in front of Mars and block (or “occult”) our view of the planet for an hour, from about 6:30 to 7:29 p.m.
Care to watch? Ready your lawn chairs and popcorn and head outdoors at least a few minutes before Mars sneaks behind the moon and again a few minutes before it reappears.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit ranchomiragelibrary.org/observatory.
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