Mars to come closest to Earth in 15 years


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

Stargazers and astronomers are in for a treat next month as Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in 15 years, making it appear particularly large and bright.

Mars opposition happens every two years or so - the last one came in May 2016.

The orbit of the Mars is said to be elliptical than Earth's, and there is a huge difference between the perihelion and aphelion. The red planet is expected to appear at its brightest in the sky on the morning of July 31. It occurs when the Earth passes directly between Mars and the sun and as a result, brings the two planets closer to each other.

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It seems that sometimes, the two planets are opposite to the side of the sun and they are far away, and sometimes Earth catches up with the neighbor and can pass it to close to it.

Even if Mars will look very bright in the sky, the truth is that a huge dust storm is now swiping the planet.

This year, scientists are expecting to observe the same event taking place once again, but this time, as one that occurs only once or twice every 15 to 17 years. "Mars will easily be visible to the naked eye", he said.

In the days before the close approach, Mars will be its brightest between July 27 and 30 when the planet is in opposition with the sun.

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The most massive dust storm on Mars ever observed to date, the same on which took out the NASA's Opportunity Rover, is now moving towards the side of the planet where the other Mars rover, NASA's Curiosity Rover, is studying the Red Planet. It'll be much brighter than any star, brighter than Jupiter, almost as bright as Venus.

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Next month, you have a unique opportunity to go outside and see the planet, Mars.

The Curiosity rover is now on the Gale Crater on Mars, a 96-mile-wide valley that researchers once believed housed a giant lake. While a telescope certainly helps, you won't need it soon considering how bright Mars will get.

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