Mars Close Approach: Here's what you'll see from Earth

Mars Close Approach: Here's what you'll see from Earth

Mars Close Approach: Here's what you'll see from Earth

NASA notes that many missions to Mars coincide with these close approaches. Mars will be at a distance of 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers). On that date, Mars will be in opposition, meaning the orbit of Earth and Mars will form a straight line with the sun.

"Even with bright moonlight, you can't miss Mars", Samuhel said.

Mars Close Approach takes place about every 26 months, but since Earth and Mars don't have perfectly circular orbits, the shortest distance between the planets isn't always the same for each close approach.

If you've looked outside anytime after sunset recently, you've probably thought Mars looks a bit bigger than you remember it. According to EarthSky.org, 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. Mars will still be more visible than normal for a while, but will become fainter as it travels farther from Earth during the planets' orbits around the sun.

Because Earth and Mars follow elliptical orbits, some Earth-Mars encounters are closer than others.

The cosmic coincidence which will see the 'God of War ' planet Mars shine in the sky during an eclipse has already got doomsday fans buzzing, but we're glad to report that it probably doesn't mean the apocalypse is nigh.

Astronomers predict that the Mars will come close to the Earth in 5 years

Mars will be visible to the naked eye for most of the night. The sun, moon and Venus are usually the top three brightest objects.

"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 called a blood moon, which could make the lunar surface look like it's been stained red.

Hubble, one of the largest space telescopes, captured images of dust storms on the Red Planet this summer. Viewers in the USA will not be able to see the lunar eclipse.

Meanwhile, those in the Deep South, northern Plains and much of the West should have cloud-free conditions, leading to uninterrupted views of the red planet on the night that it reaches opposition. NASA said that won't happen again until 2287. North America is the only continent on Earth from which the eclipse will not be visible.


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