Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Mars closest to earth today after 15 years

Mars closest to earth today after 15 years

That is the point in Mars' orbit when it comes closest to Earth.

The nearest point to Earth in Mars´ elliptical orbit came at around 1100 GMT on Tuesday, NASA said.

The next "close approach" event between the third and fourth planet from the Sun will be in 2020 when the two planets will come within 38.6 million miles (62 million kilometres) of each other.

Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in the last 15 years early Tuesday morning - making it appear brighter and larger than usual. This recent image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows Mars and its ongoing dust storm in incredible detail. The two planets will be just 57.6 million kilometres apart. And if you miss it this time around, you'll have to wait another 269 years before it comes around again. Global dust storms - lasting for weeks or months - tend to happen during the spring and summer in the southern hemisphere, when Mars is closest to the Sun and heating is at a maximum to generate winds.

If you want to watch online Mars closest to Earth, you can also view the phenomenon on a YouTube live stream.

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The image of Saturn was taken on June 6 when its ring system was near its maximum tilt towards Earth, allowing for a attractive view of the rings and the gaps between them. He continued, saying that "we need to occupy the moon while we are preparing with those lessons to begin to land and stay on Mars".

Laura Danly, curator at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, who hosted the Mars close approach webcast from the observatory, sits with former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin to talk about everything from what the moon looks like on the surface to how we might get to Mars.

Mars will start to dim by around mid-August and return to its normal magnitude of brightness around the start of September.

After sunset, the planet will appear especially bright and should be relatively easy to spot (providing the clouds stay away) thanks to its orange-red hue. In fact, the planet's best visibility is estimated to be from July 27 to July 30, meaning you still have tonight to experience a sight you wont get for at least another 15 years.

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