Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

So what's the big deal about the close approach?

Mars will be visible in the sky this week as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 15 years.

Space experts at The University of Toledo are facilitating Mars Watch 2018 to share the UT telescope with people in general for a perspective of what is called resistance, the moment that Mars and the sun are on straightforwardly inverse sides of the Earth as the planets circle around the sun. But the nearest distance between them keeps changing every year, as the planets can take varying time to orbit the sun. The next close approach, meanwhile, in 2020, will be 38.6 million miles (62 million kilometers), according to NASA.

Mars will rise in the southeast around sunset and slowly track across the sky throughout the night before setting to the southwest around sunrise, local time.

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.

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.

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"In this case it's going to appear about five times brighter than usual", added Kelly.

The event will be overseen by the associate professor Chuck Higgins, with other astronomers and students on hand to answer questions and guide the viewing. The best viewing of the planet will coincide with the lunar eclipse on Friday, July 27.

"It hasn't been this close since 2003 and won't be again until 2287", said Kelly. Mars will be at a distance of 35.8 million miles.

However, there is a global dust storm obscuring the red planet that could continue through August and into September.

'Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red colour, you really can't miss it in the sky'. Back in 2003, Mars had come close to our planet and that was an event in which the Red Planet was that close after 60,000 years.

MTSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy will be giving the public a chance to get a closer look at Mars and other planets during "opposition" on Friday, July 27, for this month's Star Party event.

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