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Mars and Saturn shine in the predawn sky on Saturday

This picture was taken by Denise Brown on Friday morning. This shows the moon, Mars behind the trees and Jupiter to the right.

If you woke up early enough on Friday morning, you would've seen the moon shining brightly in the southern sky. Along with it, however, there was Mars and Jupiter. One thing I noticed was that Mars was brighter than I remembered it being. I wanted to see if there was a logical reason behind this. It just so happened that our friends at EarthSky put out an article about Mars' brightness in 2018 this morning.

In 2003, Mars was at its closest point to Earth in nearly 60,000 years. That year, it outshone all other planets except for Venus. In 2018, it won't be quite as bright but it will be close to 2003's brightness.

In fact, by July - it will appear as a red dot in the sky. By then, it will actually be brighter than Jupiter. That didn't appear to be the case this morning.

On July 27th, the earth will be between the sun and Mars. This happens nearly every two years. What makes this occasion different, though, is that Mars will be at its closest point to the sun in its orbit. From early July until early September, Mars will outshine all stars, celestial bodies and planets, with the exceptions being Venus, the sun and the moon.

Mars will appear near the moon on Saturday morning, while Saturn appears to the left. The unfortunate thing, for us, is that it will be much too cloudy for us to get a good view.

As clouds roll in, rain chances increase as well. For the latest forecast, click here.

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