Q:

Where is Mars located in the sky?

A:

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun and the seventh largest at 227,940,000 kilometers, according to the University of Central Florida. The size and close proximity of Mars render it visible in the night sky, especially at certain points during its orbit.

NakedEyePlanets.com notes that in its earliest stages of appearance, Mars has a faint, pale orange look and shines similarly to nearby stars. From this point, Mars continues to gain altitude until it disappears from the sky altogether at twilight. The overall appearance of the Red Planet is relatively diminutive. By late August, Mars travels west of the sun and becomes visible and more prominent in the night sky rather than the day.

The University of Central Florida explains that Mars travels around the sun in an oval-shaped pattern, causing it to appear more visible in the night sky. Earth is the third planet from the sun, and Mars is the fourth, making it one of the easiest to identify in the sky. NakedEyePlanets.com explains that at certain times during the calendar year, Mars is not visible at all. Mars first becomes visible in July, around dawn, as it becomes the tip of the Beta Tauri constellation's horn.


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