Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

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

Mars comes at opposition at an average interval of two years and two months when the planet comes close to the Earth and becomes brighter, the Ministry of Earth Science said in a statement.

Astronomers around the world trained their telescopes on the sky on July 31, when the Red Planet was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) away.

The good news about all the Martian dust is that it reflects sunlight, which will make it shine brighter than usual, according to Widener University astronomer Harry Augensen. As Mars will be in the nearest position to the Earth, people can get the view from sunset until sunrise.

Mars and the Earth will today come closer than they have for over a decade today.

If you miss this approach, the next time you'll catch one will be in 2020, when it will be 62.07 million kilometres from Earth.

The pictures were taken in June and July by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and show that "Earth isn't the only planet where intense spring and summer storms wreak havoc", the USA agency said in a statement.

Although Mars reached its closest point in 15 years when most of us were still asleep at around 3:50 a.m. ET, there's no need to worry. The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 33.9 million miles.

If you missed it, don't believe any insane stories you may hear about its apparent size. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will be hosting a live stream of the event. Mars wasn't as big as the moon in the night sky - not even close; that story is a hoax that somehow pops up every single year. This fly-by means that Mars, Earth, and the Sun are all lined up with each other. Back then, Mars and Earth were "just" 56 million km apart - a feat phenomenon that had not occurred in 60,000 years and will not happen again till the year 2287, as per NASA estimates.

"Our results suggest that there is not enough Carbon dioxide remaining on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming were the gas to be put into the atmosphere", said Dr Jakobsky from the University of Colorado and the lead author of the study, which was published in Nature Astronomy.

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