Last night, Mars had a close encounter with the Harvest Moon. Now the real show begins. On Oct. 6th, Earth and Mars will have one of their finest close encounters in 20 years--only 62 million km apart. Rising in the east at sunset, red Mars will shine almost 3 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Only the planet Venus – the 3rd-brightest celestial object, after the Sun and Moon – beams brighter than Mars. The planet's disk will grow so large (22.6 arcseconds) that backyard telescopes can produce images reminiscent of Hubble. Mars is out almost all night long now. It looks like a bright reddish “star,” shining with a steadier light than the true stars. In mid-October 2020, look for Mars in the east at nightfall, highest in the sky near midnight and in the west as morning dawn starts to light the sky. Clouded out tonight? Look tomorrow or the next night! Mars will remain dazzlingly bright in our sky for all of October. Stay Tuned!