This Weekend Offers A Chance To See Mars Up Close


This Weekend Offers A Chance To See Mars Up Close

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

The minimum distance between the planets is about 33.9 million miles, according to NASA. Since 2003, an urban legend is circulated through email and social media every times Mars makes a close approach. "The end of July and early August mark one of those opportunities".

"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", said AccuWeather Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel.

Mars will shine bright and look bigger between now and Tuesday.

"Since Mars and the Sun appear on opposite sides of the sky, we say that Mars is in "opposition", NASA explained.

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.

According to information provided, Mars will be 57.6 million km away from the Earth on July 27 in a celestial event called Opposition - when the sun, Earth and any planet, in this case, Mars, align in a straight line.

On July 27, Mars will be in perihelic opposition, reported on Sunday.

Then, on 31 July, the Mars close approach will happen, so this will be your best chance to take a look!

It's an exciting few days for space watchers as Mars will be coming the closest it's been to Earth for 15 years.

"The Martian proton auroras are more than a light show", said Dr. Jasper Halekas, from the University of Iowa. You can't miss it. According to, it will be appear almost as bright as it did in 2003, when it was closer to Earth than it had been in 60,000 years. NASA said on its website. It also coincides with the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, which will last 1 hour, 43 minutes. In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli claimed to have seen canals on Mars, suggesting there could be possible civilization, or Martians, on the red planet.

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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