Mars is now the closest to Earth than it has been in 15 years
02 August, 2018, 15:44
Mars, considered the second smallest planet in the Solar System, is popular among the astronomers as the Red Planet, and as the only planet most likely to host life apart from the Earth.
But stick with us because this morning Mars will be just 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometres) away from Earth.
Mars will approach the Earth once again in on October 6, 2020, and will appear even closer in 2035.
But, when and where can I see it?
Mars will be visibly closest to Earth in the Southern Hemisphere.
The teams still have plenty of time to ideal their designs: it could be decades before a manned mission to Mars takes place. It will be visible high in the sky on the right side of the moon at around midnight.
In the summer of this year there are worthy of the attention of astronomical events - the opposition of Saturn and then Mars to our planet.
If you missed the peak at 1:00 a.m. ET today, don't worry; it will remain pretty close, providing great viewing opportunities until about the end of August. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
In some cases, as the two planets get closer to each other, the Earth - being closer to the sun - comes between the star and the red planet. On August 27, 2003, Mars was just 34.6 million miles from the Earth - the nearest it had been in 60,000 years.
This process of colonising other planets is known as terraforming when it refers to shaping their environments so they are more like Earth.
For instance, back in early 2017 researchers examined data that was collected from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) program and noted then also that there wasn't enough Carbon dioxide in the red planet's atmosphere. Thanks to NASA, we know that this kind of event, when the two planets are as close as now, will not happen again before 2287, therefore we simply can not miss it. Mars makes close approaches to earth every 15 or 17 years, but this is the first time since 2003 that the Red Planet is arriving this close, officials of KSSTM, which functions under the Education Department, said.
Observatories across the USA are hosting viewing events today to mark the occasion. It will be brighter than the gas giant Jupiter and as bright as Saturn in the night sky.
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