Mars to reach closest point to Earth since 2003

Gwen Vasquez
August 1, 2018

The Earth will have the Red Planet and the Sun on either side, with the three celestial bodies in a straight line.

Mars will be visible in the night sky after sunset till sunrise from everywhere in India, provided the monsoon clouds don't play spoilsport.

The observatory's free viewing event will begin at 10 p.m. Monday and last until 2 a.m. Tuesday.

It is noted that Mars was very bright already from the 27th of July, but on 31 July he came as close as possible to the Ground.

That's because Earth's orbit around the sun is 365 days, but it takes Mars 687 days to take a lap around our star. Though the two planets will be at closest distances to each other, they will still be 57.6 million km apart.

"The Red Planet will be at its brightest since 2003, when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years since September, 24, 57617 BC", Dr Debiprosad Duari, director, Research & Academic, MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research had said earlier this month.

The Red Planet is not going to be green anytime soon.

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Creating a reliable, user-friendly life support system will be critical for any successful manned missions to Mars, NASA said in the announcement.

On this night, Mars came strikingly close to Earth on its orbit, approaching within 35.8 million miles of our home planet.

This phenomenon is expected to occur next in 2034.

The planet will actually be closest to Earth at around 9am on Wednesday morning - a close proximity that we won't witness again for another 30 years.

A massive dust storm presently engulfing Mars, however, is obscuring surface details normally visible through telescopes. Back in 2014, the space agency partnered with Bradley University in IL on a project that challenged citizen scientists to come up with designs for efficient Mars habitats, as well the technologies that would help future astronauts readily build dome-like structures once they land on the red planet.

Today, Mars will be at its closest distance to Earth in a decade and a half.

This process of colonising other planets is known as terraforming when it refers to shaping their environments so they are more like Earth. Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory will provide a live online view of Mars early Tuesday.

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