Mars set to appear brighter tonight

Mindy Sparks
August 3, 2018

But Mars will be closer to the Earth than it has been since 2003-its second-closest approach in the past 60,000 years.

This year's close approach is not a record-breaker. Earth and Mars come closest to each other about every two years and two months.

Right now the Earth is in "opposition" with Mars, which means it is sitting directly between the Sun and the planet.

In the 1898 science fiction novel War of the Worlds, the invading Martian forces bring a red weed with them that begins to kill off Earth's plant life to make the planet habitable for the Martians. The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 33.9 million miles. But, there will be another Mars close encounter in October 2020 when the distance between Mars and Earth will be 38.6 million miles. "Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O) are the only greenhouse gases that are likely to be present on Mars in sufficient abundance to provide any significant greenhouse warming", said Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

According to EarthSky, since July7, Mars has been the brightest object in the night sky, after the moon and Venus, and will be, through September 7. It can be seen by the naked eye, but try looking with a good set of binoculars if you don't have a telescope handy.

Unfortunately, weather conditions might make it hard to see Mars clearly. NASA is in no mood for that: "The message is that Mars will look as big as the moon in our night sky".

As reported in the NASA's recent study, we don't have the technology to terraform Mars, but Elon Musk plans on sending the first manned mission to the Red Planet in 2024, so many technological achievements might happen by then.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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