Mars to reach closest point to Earth since 2003

03 August, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Ann Santiago
  • NASA’s Chief Scientist Reveals The Truth About Life On Mars

On Mars, the pressure of the atmosphere is less than one percent of the pressure of Earth's atmosphere. On August 27, 2003, Mars was just 34.6 million miles from the Earth - the nearest it had been in 60,000 years.

Those who desire the terraforming of Mars suggest that a mixture of carbon dioxide and water vapor would from the greenhouse gases needed in order to heat the Red Planet. On July 31st, Mars will be 35.8 million miles from Earth, which is the closest it has been to Earth in 15 years. The planet was observed near opposition, when the Sun, Earth and Mars are lined up, with Earth sitting in between the Sun and Mars.

The PSI Director said, at 1320 hrs today, Planet Mars is placed at 0.38496 AU = 57.59 million km.

Mars, considered the second smallest planet in the Solar System, is popular among the astronomers as the Red Planet, and as the only planet most likely to host life apart from the Earth.

Mars was in opposition on July 27, while Saturn was in opposition a month earlier on June 27, so Earth has been getting spoiled with fantastic glimpses of its neighboring planets in the past few months. A close encounter with Earth like this won't happen again until the year 2287.

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Although people viewing Mars from low latitudes and from the Southern Hemisphere will have the clearest view of the the Red Planet, Mars will be visible worldwide.

The planet will remain bright for several weeks, and you can also view the planets Saturn, Jupiter and Venus in a "long arc across the sky from east to west" shortly after sunset.

Because of both planets' elliptical orbits and the length of time it takes each planet to make it around the sun, Earth's best views of Mars only arrive every 15 to 17 years.

Luckily, you can see Mars easily with the naked eye. You can also look through a telescope. Mars will still be easy to spot and just as bright for several weeks into August. As sunsets begin creeping up even earlier in late summer and early autumn, viewers will be able to see the planet higher in the evening sky. As Mars and the Sun appear opposite sides of the sky, we can call that Mars is in "opposition".

Astronomical event was broadcast by NASA from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

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