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On July 27, Mars to come closest to Earth in 15 years

21 June 2018

Mars will make its closest approach to earth over the last 1.5 decades, which makes it particularly attractive and bright.

During July 2018, Mars will be coming within 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) of Earth, which is the closest the Red Planet has come since 2003.

Astronauts are trying to get to Mars, but the Red Planet is actually venturing nearer to Earth - enough to be visible to the naked eye.

It seems that sometimes, the two planets are opposite to the side of the sun and they are far away, and sometimes Earth catches up with the neighbor and can pass it to close to it.

The phenomenon will make the surface of the planet more visible through a telescope.

This year, scientists are expecting to observe the same event taking place once again, but this time, as one that occurs only once or twice every 15 to 17 years. "In fact, you will be hard pressed to miss it", Cincinnati Observatory astronomer Dan Regas said, The Weather Channel reported. It'll be much brighter than any star, brighter than Jupiter, almost as bright as Venus.

Mars' opposition will mark the planet's brightest and closest night time appearance since 2003 when Mars was at its closest point in some 60,000 years.

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Over the next six weeks Mars will appear brighter than it has did in the past 15 years.

In 2017 for example, the Red Planet was on the other side of the sun which made it look dim to observers back on Earth.

If the planets had perfectly stable orbits, then a perihelic opposition would bring the planets as close as they could possibly come to each other.

An illustration of Mars and Earth in opposition.

In just over a month, the Martian approach will let sky gazers see the planet with the naked eye. "Gravitational tugging by the other planets constantly changes the shape of our orbits a little bit".

Just about two years ago, the planets were located at opposite ends of their respective orbits, at a distance of around 47 million miles between the two. While a telescope certainly helps, you won't need it soon considering how bright Mars will get.

On July 27, Mars to come closest to Earth in 15 years