Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

UPDATED: Mars a Bright Red Spot Above Portland, Oregon, the Coast

Published 05/25/2016 at 6:11 PM PDT - Published 05/26/2016 at 2:11 aM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Mars is a bright red star in the skies over inland Oregon and the coast right now,

(Oregon Coast) – Updated to include full dates. To paraphrase the old McCartney and Wings song: “Saturn and Mars are alright tonight.” (Photo of Mars courtesy NASA/Hubble).

Mars is a bright red star in the skies over inland Oregon and the coast right now, with Mars in opposition and at its closest to us until May 30. Meanwhile, Saturn is tagging along with the red planet as well.

All this makes for incredible sky watching right now along the Oregon coast and in towns like Portland, Salem and Eugene – except for the fact the skies don't open up much until the holiday weekend is finishing up. Monday, May 30 is Memorial Day and that's when the nighttime skies really start to clear up in order to see this wondrous extraterrestrial sight. Until then, it's mostly cloudy if not completely cloudy at night.

Mars reached opposition to Earth on May 22, meaning both Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of the Earth. It's also when the planet is at its closest to Earth. Mars reaches opposition about every two years, but when the coincidences double up to include reaching perihelion to Earth (at its closest) – that only occurs once every 26 years or so.

The end result is a bright red spot in the sky, mostly trailing along near the moon throughout the hours of darkness. You won't need a telescope to see the trademark redness of the fourth planet in our solar system. Saturn is also a bright dot near the moon and Mars, adding to the interplanetary fun.

The way planets orbit around the sun – which is mostly elliptical and not straight circles – makes these two coinciding events possible, and it makes them occur years apart. Another fascinating fact: in 2003, the opposition of Mars was the closest the two planets had been to each other in about 60,000 years. You'll have to wait until 2287 to find Mars getting any closer.

How long will this last? Mars starts to drift from its opposition and perihelion after May 30, but it will take a few weeks before it really begins to fade to a normal brightness. It will lessen in brightness over the coming weeks, for at least a week or two will remain quite brilliant..

What are the best spots to view this on the Oregon coast? Really anywhere, and the same goes for Portland. The darker your vantage point, the better, however. In this case, beaches along the coast will likely be more fun than the usual high spots Oregon Coast Beach Connection recommends for meteor showers. On the beaches, you may get a glimpse of Mars reflecting its red in the wet sand, which can make for awesome night photography, if you have the right equipment. Oregon Coast Lodgings for this event - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

More of the Oregon coast at night below. Keep an eye on Oregon Coast Weather.








 

 

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


 


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

N. Oregon Coast Holidays: Cannon Beach Museum, Downtown Parties
Cannon Beach events: plenty of interesting yuletide distractions
Central Oregon Coast Holidays Kick Off with Lincoln City Tree Lighting
Family ornament workshop, cookies and hot chocolate, festive choral music, a visit with Santa. Lincoln City events
Wacky Oregon Coast History: Nov. 12 is Happy Exploding Whale Day, New Facts
More tidbits about the incident, the clip and its future. Sciences
Major Meteor Shower Could Hit West Coast, Oregon, Washington
An enormous but short burst of activity of especially bright meteors. Sciences
Lion's Mane Jellyfish: Something Ouchy on Oregon Coast Lately
Seaside Aquarium this week reporting seeing some Lion's Mane Jellyfish on the north coast. South coast, Sciences
Holidays and Book Fair Approach on N. Oregon Coast: Tillamook, Seaside
Mook Book Fair in Tillamook, Gingerbread Tea in Seaside. Tillamook events, Seaside events
Oregon Coast King Tides Project Kickoff Party, Photogs Needed
With the first king tides coming up November 25 - 27. Weather
Animal Planet Star of Crikey! It's the Irwins Films at Oregon Coast Aquarium
Bindi Irwin showed up in Newport for a segment airing Nov. 23. Science, kids

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details