CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Last week, Mercury stole the show. Now it's Mars' turn.
On Sunday morning, Mars, Earth and the sun will line up perfectly in the sky. This once-every-two-years event is called Mars opposition. That's because Mars and the sun will be on opposite sides of Earth.
Right now, Mars is about 48 million miles from us, coming ever closer until May 30, when the red planet passes within 46.8 million miles. That will be Mars' closest approach in 10 1/2 years. In 2018, Mars will get a lot chummier, passing within a mere 36 million miles.
The modern-day record of 34.6 million miles between Earth and Mars was set in 2003. That won't be surpassed until the year 2287, according to NASA.
At the other end of the scale, Earth and Mars can be as much as 249 million miles apart when they wind up on opposite sides of the sun every couple years.
May is proving a busy month for stargazers.
On May 9, Mercury passed directly between Earth and the sun, resembling a black dot against our vast, bright star.
Telescopes or high-powered binoculars were needed to see that Mercury transit, which occurs just 13 times or so a century. Nothing fancy is needed to gaze upon Mars — just your eyes.
Get outside to see a burnt orange Mars and a golden yellow Saturn in the night sky. Find out when and where to look:https://t.co/75NEgH3O8p— NASA (@NASA) May 30, 2016
Sky-watchers, gazing to the southeast at nightfall, can enjoy a brighter, seemingly bigger Mars well into June. A full moon, on May 21, will add to the viewing pleasure.
The Hubble Space Telescope already is zooming in for pictures. On Thursday, the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore released a snapshot of Mars taken May 12 from 50 million miles out. The stunning image shows details as small as 20 to 30 miles across.
A 91-year-old man from La Jolla has been confirmed as the first person in San Diego County in 2018 to test positive for West Nile virus, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced Friday.
San Diego State University students who were recently vaccinated for meningitis may need to receive the vaccine again, the school and Walgreens warned on Friday.
TripAdvisor announced Thursday the top cities for pizza in the U.S., and San Diego made the Top 10 list.
California's unemployment rate fell to a record low of 4.1 percent in September, down from 4.2 percent for the previous five months.
An unidentified man sneaked into an East County home early Thursday and sexually assaulted a 7-year-old girl, authorities reported.
Renowned for its intense racing, the adrenaline-fueled Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to San Diego for the second year, from October 18-21.
The Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on Tuesday released a ceremonial gunfire noise advisory for Friday, October 19th, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Attendees will hear “Day of the Dead” stories, while creating take-home masks, sugar skulls and papel picado!