After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” --- Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)But did you ever think Mars would be something to see? Anyone venturing outside this evening should, weather permitting, be able to view a different “star in the east,” otherwise known as the red planet. According to the website MarsNews.com:
On December 24, Mars reaches opposition. This means that it will appear as a bright orange star in the east soon after sunset.One of the weather websites that I consult regularly, CTWeather.com, has this to say as well:
Mars will be unusually bright this Christmas Even and the moon will be shining full --- a development that might make Santa Claus rethink his need for Rudolph’s red nose.With such a long wait until the next peak visibility, I just may be outside tonight looking for Mars...instead of Santa.
The red planet will shine brighter because it will be directly opposite the sun, reflecting the most light, and fairly close to Earth, only 55.5 million miles away. The full moon will appear nearby, rising about an hour later.
Mars will outshine the brightest star and wont be as noticeable in the sky for nine more years.