Sunday, 19 August, 2018


Red Planet comes closer to Earth than since 2003 and Neanderthal Age

Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years Mars shines brighter in evening sky
Kristine Garrett | 26 July, 2018, 20:11

"If Earth and Mars followed perfectly circular orbits, opposition would be as close as the two planets could get".

Astronomers have revealed that Mars will be within a close range of our planet Earth on July 25 - fifteen years after its closest brush with Earth. That means Mars and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of us. Less than two months later, on July 20 the storm was declared global and months may pass before it will end. The sun, moon and Venus are usually the top three brightest objects.

For the best views of Mars, you'll want to wait until after midnight - or closer to 1 a.m. - when the planet is at its maximum height in the sky.

Clouds will interfere with onlookers across the eastern United States on Thursday night and early Friday morning due to the wet weather pattern that has set up over the region.

A massive dust storm that has engulfed the planet will make viewing surface details more hard than it typically would be for those using a telescope, but the dust also reflects the sun's light better, making the planet appear all that much brighter. Mars will remain brighter than Jupiter until around September 7.

Although the red planet will be closer than normal, it will still only appear as a bright, red point of light in the sky.

The phenomenon is called a Mars close approach, which is when the red planet and Earth come nearest to each other in their orbits around the Sun.

"It will appear to be a very bright orange star and you'll be able to watch it creep across the sky", said Kelly. NASA said on its website.

The next close approach will occur in 2020 when the Red Planet will be within 38.6 million miles.

"The reason Mars is becoming so bright is the fact that we are approaching Mars' opposition; this is the time when Earth will be directly between the planet and the sun", AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.

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.

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