Mars, Saturn at the closest you ever get in a picture

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At 10:29pm BST (21:29 UT) on Monday, 30 May 2016, Mars and Earth will be 46,777,480 miles (75,281,050 kilometres) apart — the closest that the Red Planet has come to our planet since 30 October 2005. On 30 May, Mars rises an hour before sunset as seen from the centre of the British Isles, and by 11pm will be visible as a magnitude -2 ochre-coloured 'star' low in the south-southeast. Mars has an angular diameter of 18.6 arcseconds this night — almost exactly the same size as the globe of nearby Saturn. The Ringed Planet reaches opposition on 3 June and lies just 15 degrees (almost the span of an outstretched hand at arm's length) to the left of Mars. Antares in Scorpius is the first-magnitude star that lies below the two planets, the trio highest in the sky to the south at 1am BST. AN graphic by Ade Ashford.