Mars Close Approach: How to view the celestial event

Mars Close Approach: How to view the celestial event

Mars Close Approach: How to view the celestial event

At 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT), Mars reached the closest point to Earth in its orbit.

Mars will be at its closest distance to Earth in 15 years tonight.

Right now, the red planet is on its closest approach to Earth in 15 years.

Mars and Earth were the closest last in 2003 in almost 60,000 years.

Mars Makes Close Pass By Earth | Connecticut Public Radio
But finding an unfrozen patch in its liquid state has so far evaded detection by any overhead orbiter or planet-bound rover. With the support of NASA , some U.S. private companies have even been thinking about plans for immigration to Mars.

The next close approach, meanwhile, in 2020, will be 62 million kilometres, according to NASA. Earth takes roughly a year (or 365.25 days, to be exact) to complete a revolution around the sun, while Mars does it in 1.88 years (approximately 687 days). The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 33.9 million miles.

The pictures were taken in June and July by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and show that "Earth isn't the only planet where intense spring and summer storms wreak havoc", the USA agency said in a statement.

If you missed it, don't believe any insane stories you may hear about its apparent size. Those who were watching the lunar eclipse on July 27 must have noticed Mars in the sky too, as the planet was easily visible a few degrees below our natural satellite.

The evening of 31 July will see Mars will appear quite brightly, omitting an orange-red colour. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will be hosting a live stream of the event. Yes, you can share in the excitement by watching online or at local star-viewing parties. You will need a telescope with a large lens (6- to 8-inch in size) to be able to see the planet, and even then the clouds may obstruct your view.

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Norwood, who wasn't seriously injured, laughed it off after the impact was caught on camera, showing off his scrapes . Unfortunately, he slipped on an oil slick just moments before the vehicle arrived.

"We should establish an occupancy on the moon", Aldrin said in the live video about Earth's satellite that he once stepped foot on.

"If that were true, we'd be in big trouble given the gravitational pulls on Earth, Mars and our Moon", NASA says.

Mars will start to dim by around mid-August and return to its normal magnitude of brightness around the start of September. In fact, Mars will remain brighter than Jupiter in the night sky until about September 7. Mars, the fourth planet of the solar system, orbits the Sun at a greater distance than our planet. So, while it won't remain this bright in the night sky for long, it will be brilliant long enough for everyone to take a look.

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