Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

"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.

The Red Planet will be 57.6 million kilometers from the earth, offering the clearest and brightest views since 2003. Earth and Mars have oval shaped orbits, like all other planets. Hence, it will appear closest, brightest, biggest (from Telescope), Mr Kumar said.

The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers), and is rarely achieved.

In 2003, Mars and Earth were the closest in almost 60,000 years - 34.6 million miles (55.7 million kilometers).

Mars will be visible in the night sky after sunset till sunrise from everywhere in India, provided the monsoon clouds don't play spoilsport. That was the closest in 60,000 years, and that kind of range won't happen again until the year 2287.

Look into the east to see Mars in Perth. Whereas at midnight one can see it above his head, in the morning it can be spotted in West and South West Direction, Mr Kumar explained.

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The Red Planet last made an approach this close in 2003 when it came within 34.6 million miles of Earth.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the dream of living on Mars is dead, but it does suggest that the Red Planet's most important industry could be selling and maintaining reliable spacesuits.

"If Earth and Mars followed perfectly circular orbits, opposition would be as close as the two planets could get", NASA said on its website.

The snapshot of Mars, captured on July 18, reveals that it is in the midst of a global dust storm, with spring in the southern hemisphere. We may colonize the Red Planet yet, but it's not going to be as easy as releasing the carbon dioxide trapped in the planet.

The blood moon will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century and will occur just after 9pm United Kingdom time on Friday July 27. Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory is providing a live online viewing.

Following the approach of Mars to Earth is expected in October 2020. In addition, while we have somewhat of an abundance of Carbon dioxide and greenhouses gasses on Earth, there isn't enough on Mars.

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