On December 7, 2022, our planet Earth passed between Mars and the sun, bringing Mars to its once-in-two-years opposition in our sky. Mars was at its closest and brightest for this two-year period, and it was opposite the sun. A full moon is also opposite the sun. So, on December 7, the sun, the Earth, the moon and Mars were aligned. And the alignment was so precise that – as viewed from some parts of Earth – the moon passed in front of Mars! Elsewhere, red Mars was widely seen near the full moon in the sky on the night of December 7-8. Heartfelt thanks to all who submitted photos to EarthSky Community Photos. We love you all! A few favs on this page … and more moon and Mars photos here.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Prior to that, she had worked for the University of Texas McDonald Observatory since 1976, and created and produced their Star Date radio series. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. In 2020, she won the Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society, the largest organization of professional astronomers in North America. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.
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