Mars to appear very bright in tonight's sky

NASA определилось с жильем для первых колонистов Марса

"If Earth and Mars followed perfectly circular orbits, opposition would be as close as the two planets could get", NASA said on its website.

That is the point in Mars' orbit when it comes closest to Earth. That was the closest in 60,000 years, and that kind of range won't happen again until the year 2287.

In reality, at Mars' closest approach, the moon still appeared 75 times larger than the Red Planet, while Mars appeared as an extremely bright, star-like object that was visible for much of the night.

On July 31, Mars will be 35.8 million miles from Earth, the closest distance it has been to Earth in 15 years.

NASA has captured many images of the planet-wide dust storm that has been affecting Mars since June this year.

One popular public viewing spot was the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, where Mars was visible with the naked eye as a bright orange spot in the sky, according to a live broadcast held to mark the celestial event. So, all the space enthusiasts, who are keen to watch this phenomenon, you need not worry. 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. Aldrin is an active proponent of humankind exploring farther out into the solar system and landing a crewed mission on Mars.

'If that were true, we'd be in big trouble given the gravitational pulls on Earth, Mars, and our Moon, ' Nasa wrote.

At its closest approach, Mars shone at a magnitude of minus 2.8, which is twice as bright as Jupiter but dimmer than Venus (lower magnitudes mean it looks brighter).

Starting today, Mars will also appear to shrink in size to observers due to the goring distance between Earth and the Red Planet. Astronomers don't really know why or how long it will take before it goes away. 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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