Stargazers have something to look forward to. Over the next few months, a pair of colorful bright objects will be visible close together–Mars and Spica. Next week in particular, Mars will be the brightest that it will be all year.
The reason that Mars appears so bright is that Earth and Mars are close to each other in their long orbits around the Sun. Spica, on the other hand, shines constantly as one of the brightest blue stars in the night sky. Pronounced “spy-kah”, the blue-hued star has been visible throughout human history and the sounds that identify it today date back to ancient times. Pictured above, the planet and the star were photographed rising together toward the southeast after sunset last week through old oak trees in Sweden.