Mars to make closest approach to Earth since 2003

Adjust Comment Print

The planet will reach its closest approach on July 31. During opposition, Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth, so Mars will rise in the east just as the sun sets in the west and vice versa, according to NASA. But the nearest distance between them keeps changing every year, as the planets can take varying time to orbit the sun.

If you miss the Mars Close Approach next month, the next approach will be October 6, 2020.

It should be relatively easy to spot Mars, as long as cloud cover is minimal.

To find Mars, look to the southeastern sky around 11 p.m. Astronomers measure the night sky in degrees - the horizon is at zero, directly overhead is at 90 degrees.

Although the red planet will be closer than normal, it will still only appear as a bright, red point of light in the sky. Viewers in the US will not be able to see the lunar eclipse.

More news: Yankees get Britton from O's for trio of minor league arms

Although it's still early to forecast, a large-scale weather pattern could bring clouds over the eastern states next week, as a southward plunge of the jet stream generates showers and thunderstorms, says meteorologist Chris Dolce. On Mars, they are the result of protons, and scientists have just figured out how the events happen.

As Mars draws near, it will grow brighter and appear larger. Astronomers expect good viewing through early August.

On July 27, Mars will be in perihelic opposition, reported on Sunday.

"It hasn't been this close since 2003 and won't be again until 2287", said Kelly.

Mars will still be 35.8 million miles away though, so there's certainly no danger of it bumping into us.

More news: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says more records 'impossible'

According to AccuWeather, Mars is now engulfed in a massive dust storm, obscuring the planetary features.

"The answer was thievery", said Justin Deighan, of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, lead author of a paper on this research appearing July 23 in Nature Astronomy.

'Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red colour, you really can't miss it in the sky'.

In 2003, Mars and Earth were the closest in almost 60,000 years - 55.7 million kilometres.

According to information provided, Mars will be 57.6 million km away from the Earth on July 27 in a celestial event called Opposition - when the sun, Earth and any planet, in this case, Mars, align in a straight line.

More news: Fury as 'nanny state' warns tourists to stay out of the sun