Yikes! What is THAT?

Originally published 5/14/16

It looks like landing lights on a plane heading your way, but it doesn’t move. It is orangey in color, but too bright for Mars. A Navy weapons test or something? A space ship?

Nope. It is Mars after all. The unusual brightness will grow and peak at the end of May. Rising at sunset, it climbs low in the southern sky, shining all night. It is in opposition, meaning opposite the sun. We are making a close encounter of the normal kind. Nothing too exciting, but on the other hand, not something to be missed. Really pretty.