Let's be honest right off the top, 2020 hasn't been a great year for much.

That's not to say, though, that it's been a bad year for everything.

Skywatching in 2020 has been excellent for those of us here at the Jersey Shore.

With a once in a lifetime comet flying by and being visible from the Jersey Shore this past summer, there were plenty of times that I took an opportunity to step outside and get away from everything going on to sit quietly and look up at the night sky for a few minutes.

When comet NEOWISE was visible, I jumped onto Amazon and bought myself a decent pair of binoculars.

There was a moment where I wondered if it was worth the money for something that would soon be gone forever (well, not forever, but let's be honest, with our puny human life expectancy, 6,000 years might as well be forever).

But man, have I been glad that I did get those binoculars, because Mars has been truly jaw-dropping lately.

These last few months have actually been great for spotting planets, with Jupiter being particularly bright and visible with the naked eye since about the middle of July.

With planets like Jupiter, though, you kind of have to know what you're looking at or it just looks like a bright star.

Mars is a different story, though, with its deep orange color shining brilliantly even next to the bright moon these last few nights.

You don't need a guide, a map, or an app to spot Mars from right here at the Jersey Shore, just look up, look for the pin-point pumpkin in the sky, and you've found it.

According to Space.com, the Red Planet will make, "an unusually close approach to Earth" next Tuesday, October 6th.

The report goes on to say that you'll be able to easily spot Mars, "throughout most of October".

To me, it's the simple things like the awe of nature that can help relieve a little of the stress that we're all under these days, so I highly recommend stepping outside one of these nights and looking up!

 

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