Mars Will Be Close To Earth On July 31

Mars is now the closest to Earth than it has been in 15 years

This proximity interprets that the Earth is in "opposition" with Mars - meaning that it is sitting directly between the Sun and the planet.

The Red Planet will be 57.6 million kilometers from the earth, offering the clearest and brightest views since 2003. Meanwhile the very bright planet Venus pops up in the very low western sky in the evening twilight, but sets shortly thereafter.

Even though some water may have been discovered there, Mars has less than 1% of the atmospheric pressure of that on Earth.

But, when and where can I see it?

The distance between Earth and Mars changes throughout the year due to their elliptical shaped paths. Selfie-taking Curiosity, the best-known of the two, is drilling into the hard rock of the planet to find out whether small life forms called microbes could ever have lived on Mars.

The Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, in partnership with Steward Observatory and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, will be holding a "Mars Magnified" event for the public on July 31, from 8 p.m.to 2 a.m. Should we look more towards Mars or the Moon in our space programs?

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed Saturn and Mars near their closest approaches to Earth in June and July 2018.

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While Mars is getting all the headlines in August, Jupiter and Saturn are also fantastic telescope targets, with Jupiter's moons and Saturn's ring system. It has a very helpful atmosphere, which, being primarily Carbon dioxide with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere.

Early this morning, Mars made its closest approach to Earth since 2003 - but if you missed it, the Red Planet is still a magnificent sight to see in the night sky.

Mars will be at its closest distance to Earth in 15 years tonight (Jul 31), wrapping up a memorable month for stargazers.

Observatories across the USA are hosting Mars-viewing events right now.

Don't forget to look up and catch a glimple of a brighter Mars tonight as the Red Planet makes its closest approach to Earth in 15 years on Tuesday. But this is not the closest encounter between the two planets.

This year's Mars comes closer to Earth approach is not a record-breaker.

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