Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

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Mars gets closest to Earth; date and time, how to watch, what to expect: Mars will be at its closest distance to the Earth during an Opposition phase, a phenomenon that occurs about once in every 15 years.

Mars gets closest to Earth on July 31: What is Mars' opposition?

In reality, at Mars' closest approach, the moon still appeared 75 times larger than the Red Planet, while Mars appeared as an extremely bright, star-like object that was visible for much of the night.

Earth and Mars will come closer on Tuesday, July 31 than they have in 15 years. Because there is a giant dust storm that has been circling the entire planet! At their nearest, the two planets will be just 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometres) apart.

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Observatories across the U.S. are hosting viewing events today to mark the occasion.

For those who missed the closest approach, not to worry.

Although people viewing Mars from low latitudes and from the Southern Hemisphere will have the clearest view of the the Red Planet, Mars will be visible worldwide. Yes, you can share in the excitement by watching online or at local star-viewing parties. Aldrin is an active proponent of humankind exploring farther out into the solar system and landing a crewed mission on Mars.

Aldrin added that reaching these ambitious goals will require innovation, and he hopes that he can "inspire the next generation" to take these massive steps.

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

Mars will start to dim by around mid-August and return to its normal magnitude of brightness around the start of September. It will be brighter than the gas giant Jupiter and as bright as Saturn in the night sky.

Like all other planets, Earth and Mars have elliptical orbits, meaning oval in shape.

Scientists said mankind can no longer think of Mars as a "safety valve" in case things go wrong on our planet. As sunsets begin creeping up even earlier in late summer and early autumn, viewers will be able to see the planet higher in the evening sky.

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