Red Planet Mars Comes Closer to Earth Like Never Before Today

Red Planet Mars Comes Closer to Earth Like Never Before Today

Earth's neighbour in the solar system was brightest from July 27 to 30, but it is expected to be visible throughout the night on July 31.

With Mars in closest position to Earth in a long time, you should be able to see it starting sunset and have the view until sunrise.

The red planet is making its closest approach to Earth in 15 years on Tuesday. This will also be the closest the red planet comes to Earth until October 2020.

During the confrontation, the Sun, the Earth and the planet are perfectly aligned, which creates excellent conditions for observations of the planets that are at a minimum distance from the Earth and are well-lit by the Sun. This close distance puts Mars at its brightest appearance in the night sky since the 2003 opposition.

The nearest point to Earth in Mars' elliptical orbit came at around 1100 GMT on Tuesday, NASA said. But it must be noted that Mars closest to the Earth does not mean it will be at its brightest too.

"Mars will be closest today, 31 July, but it will be very close for many weeks meaning telescope owners can get superb close-up views for a couple of months at least", said David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine.

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Is 35.8 million miles the closest Mars has ever been to Earth?

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. And you should take a look at the sky for a change. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. "Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red color, you really can't miss it in the sky".

In 2003, Mars and Earth were the closest in almost 60,000 years at 34.6 million miles (55.7 million km) apart. Mars is about half as far also from the sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight.

First, a lunar Eclipse happens once in 100 years, now is just another cosmic event.

Transforming planets as a pre-cursor to colonisation is a staple of science fiction, and an aspiration for individuals including Elon Musk, whose company SpaceX uses images of terraforming Mars in its promotional material.

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