Mars at Opposition, CSN Planetarium

Oswaldo Francisco Ferrucci Silva
27 July 2018
Time: 20:00 until 10:30

Come join us at the CSN Planetarium parking lot (right next to their observatory domes) for a FREE special event to see Mars at opposition (weather permitting). This happens about every two years. It's the night when Mars, Earth, and the Sun line up in that order, which is when Mars is closest to Earth. Mars will be just 35.8 million miles away this night and will actually appear brighter than Jupiter because of it. This is almost the closest Mars can get to Earth (the furthest oppositions place Mars more than 60 million miles away). Mars won’t be closer than this until the year 2034. Exact Event Location: It's called "opposition" because from Earth's view, Mars and the Sun will be on opposite ends of the sky (180 degrees apart), so as the Sun sets in the west, Mars will rise in the east. As we wait for Mars to rise over our valley's eastern mountains (around 9:15 pm), we will have beautiful views of Jupiter and Saturn. Venus will also be visible. There will also be planetarium shows going on that evening at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm in the newly renovated planetarium (they have comfy new seats). See the CSN Planetarium website for show details and how to buy tickets: Note: This Mars opposition happens to fall on the night of the full moon. Normally we wouldn't schedule astronomy events on the night of the full moon because its brightness will prevent us from seeing dim objects like galaxies and nebulae, but since Mars opposition happens once every two years we are making an exception. At least the planets are so bright, their viewing will be unaffected and we can also look at the moon. Note 2: Because Mars is approaching perihelion (closest point in its orbit to the Sun), the increased sunlight is causing winds on Mars that kick up global dust storms obscuring land features of the Martian terrain. We are hoping these dust storms might settle down by the time of this event. More Info: https://cseligm>

Disabled Access:


Entry Fee:



CSN Planetarium, 3200 E Cheyenne Ave, North Las Vegas, NV 89030, USA