Washington: There will be a great display of colours before dawn next week when the Moon passes a bright star and Mars.
According to the editors of StarDate magazine, the Moon stands closest to Aldebaran, the bright star known as the eye of Taurus, the bull, an hour before dawn on Tuesday the 26th in the eastern sky.
The Moon shines next to Mars in the east at the same time the following morning. Both Mars and Aldebaran glow orange, but right now Aldebaran is about twice as bright as Mars.
The Moon is painted in shades of white, gray, and black, and like a neon bulb, Aldebaran produces its own colour.
Mars doesn’t generate any light on its own. Instead, like the Moon, it shines by reflecting sunlight. The light strikes a surface that is painted in varying shades of orange, yellow, gray, and black.
Most of the orange and yellow are produced by fine-grained dust that contains a lot of iron oxide, better known as rust.
As Mars grows brighter later in the year, its colour will appear to grow more intense. By year’s end, you’ll see why it is called the Red Planet, as Mars provides one of the most vivid spots of colour in the night sky.