Mars to come closest to Earth in 15 years next month

James Marshall
June 21, 2018

Here's what Nasa said about Mars going into opposition: "Like all the planets in our solar system, Earth and Mars orbit the sun".

According to The Weather Channel, July 31 will be the peak of Mars' brightness.

Due to the nature of Earth and Mars' respective orbits, the distance between the two is remarkably inconsistent from year to year. The red planet is expected to appear at its brightest in the sky on the morning of July 31.

'So sometimes the two planets are on opposite sides of the sun, very far apart, and other times, Earth catches up with its neighbour and passes relatively close to it'. The Earth will pass between Mars and the sun during the period, which is the first time that's happened since 2003. For much of that night it will be visible to the naked eye. Once Mars and Earth split up once again, the next time that Mars gets this close will be on September 15, 2035. "Mars will easily be visible to the naked eye", he said.

Daily Star brings you the most mesmerizing images from Mars alongside fascinating facts about the mysterious planet.

Mars only comes close enough to allow this kind of view once or twice every 15 or 17 years.

Sky enthusiasts will be out in the coming weeks as experts say Mars is set to be the brightest it has been in over a decade. It'll be much brighter than any star, brighter than Jupiter, almost as bright as Venus. However, the orbits of both planets are elliptical, or oval-shaped, meaning that the planets come slightly closer to the Sun at one end of their orbits compared to the other.

"2017 was one of the off-years, but, in 2018, we'll have a grand view of Mars - best since 2003".

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.

Nasa added: "During opposition, Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth". However, Mars will be in the spotlight for a couple of weeks in July and August. You can see this selfie in the image at the beginning of the article. It will appear at its brightest from July 27-30.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article