Meteors, blue moon and Mars, oh my! Beautiful triple threat on tap for skywatchers

Orionid meteor shower.
Orionid meteor shower. (© 2012 Michael Orso)

October is going to be a busy month, astronomically speaking. There are three pretty big events happening that any skywatcher will want to take note of.


Earth will soon pass between Mars and the sun, and that means the Red Planet will be brighter than it has been at any time since July 2018.

Mars will appear brighter than at any other point during the year on Oct. 13, when it will be closest to Earth.

“Because of the distance of our orbits around the sun, it takes Mars longer to complete one orbit around the sun (687 days) than Earth (365 days),” meteorologist Paul Gross said. “So, a little over every two years, Mars and Earth are closest together in their orbits and, thus, Mars is at its brightest in our nighttime sky. It is indeed spectacular to watch!”

Mars will appear in the east, around sunset, and will have a reddish-orange glow to it.

The sharpest view of Mars ever taken from Earth was obtained by the refurbished NASA Hubble Space Telescope. This stunning portrait was taken on March 10, 1997, just before Mars opposition, when the Red Planet made one of its closest passes to Earth. (Photo By Nasa/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

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