Mars Closest to Earth in 15 Years Today

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

Mars Close Approach: How to view the celestial event

However, because Mars's orbit is elliptical sometimes Mars get's a lot closer to the earth.

On July 27, Mars was at opposition, meaning that the Sun and the Red Planet came opposite to each other, keeping the Earth in the middle.

Jan Cami, director of the Hume Cronyn Observeratory and an associate professor of astronomy at Western, told CBC's London Morning Tuesday that it's a big deal because Mars will be about 40-million kilometres closer than it comes in other close approaches.

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

According to NASA, Mars was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Earth at its closest point this morning.

In 2003, Mars and Earth were at their closest in almost 60,000 years, coming within 34.6 million miles of each other.

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The next close approach, meanwhile, in 2020, will be 62 million kilometres, according to NASA. Furthermore, if mankind somehow invented a way to squeeze the Carbon dioxide from all the material on Mars (that's essentially impossible), it would only boost the atmosphere to around 6.9 percent of Earth's. It is normally 250 million miles away from our planet. Mars looks like a bright, red star in the east every evening and in the west before dawn. Weather permitting, Mars will be visible low on the southwestern horizon, with the moon shining to the upper left. This rare phenomena will also be visible form India too.

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

For those who missed the closest approach, not to worry.

The Red Planet is now brighter than usual and will glow even more - and look larger - tonight.

The good news about all the Martian dust is that it reflects sunlight, which makes for an even brighter red planet, said Widener University astronomer Harry Augensen. Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory will provide a live online view of Mars early Tuesday. You will need a telescope with a large lens (6- to 8-inch in size) to be able to see the planet, and even then the clouds may obstruct your view.

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