Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars' next close approach is October 6, 2020.

Mars will still be 35.8 million miles away though, so there's certainly no danger of it bumping into us. NASA notes that much has been made of the observation that the Neanderthals were the last before the 2003 approach to see Mars so favorably placed.

Mars is already brighter than usual and will shine even more- and appear bigger - as Tuesday nears.

And on July 31, Mars will be at its closest approach to Earth in both their orbits around the sun.

The message is that Mars will look as big as the moon in our night sky, which isn't the case. Mars made its closest approach to Earth in almost 60,000 years back in 2003, when its center was 34,646,418 miles from Earth's. "As they approach Mars, the protons coming in with the solar wind transform into neutral atoms by stealing electrons from the outer edge of the huge cloud of hydrogen surrounding the planet", said Dr. Justin Deighan, from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

NASA found out that the skies over Mars put up quite a show for at least half of the planet, but it's a show very hard to observe.

Mars will be easily visible with the naked eye - weather permitting.

Amber heatwave alert for Surrey and Hampshire
It has warned people in Reading , Berkshire and the south east to stay out of the sun and keep their homes as cool as possible. It's not just the United Kingdom that has been treated to some record breaking temperatures this summer.

For Powell River residents seeking to view the planet from the comfort of their own homes, there is no need to go to a particularly dark place or use a telescope to see it. Mars will appear on the horizon at around 9:30 pm each evening, starting in the southeast at the bottom right in relation to the moon, and rise throughout the night.

It's also a great time for people see the planet from here on Earth, and many Orlando-area planetariums are making it easy for stargazers to get a good look this year.

"It will appear to be a very bright orange star and you'll be able to watch it creep across the sky", said Kelly. That same day, parts of the world will see a total lunar eclipse.

Hubble, one of the largest space telescopes, captured images of dust storms on the Red Planet this summer.

While the blood moon eclipse will not be visible from North America, it will visible across much of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, weather permitting. Friday's will be long, lasting 1 hour and 43 minutes.

They line up again at the same distance in 2287.

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