Mars Is About to Come Closer to Earth Than It Has in The Past 15 Years

Mars will look brighter in the night sky throughout the following a month and a half than it has shown up in 15 years.

That is on account of the red planet will be at its nearest point to Earth since 2003 all through June and July, as our planet goes amongst Mars and the Sun.

On July 31, when Mars will be at its brightest, it will be 35.8 million miles from Earth, as indicated by The Weather Channel.

Mars will be effortlessly obvious to the exposed eye all through July, surpassing everything except the brightest stars as it gets to its nearest point.

The purpose behind this is a phenomenon called perihelic opposition. In basic terms, an opposition is when Earth passes straightforwardly directly Mars and the Sun. A month ago, Jupiter was contrary to our planet, swinging within 409 million miles of Earth.

Mars opposition happens like clockwork or so – the last one came in May 2016. In any case, this year is exceptional in light of the fact that inside fourteen days of the opposition, the red planet will likewise hit its nearest point to the Sun in its orbit, a point called the perihelion.

Perihelic opposition happens just once every 15 to 17 years, when Earth’s and Mars’ orbit align to bring the two planets near one another, as per NASA.

In any case, while Mars may look splendid and wonderful from your terrace, the truth on the planet is significantly less amicable.

A dust storm is at present clobbering Mars, covering around 10 billion acres of land of the red planet’s surface. That is a zone comparable to the extent of North America and Russia, and it takes up a quarter of Mars’ surface area.

“The storm is a standout amongst the most serious at any point saw on the Red Planet,” NASA said in a press release.

NASA put its solar-powered Opportunity rover in rest mode to ride out the storm, yet it’s hazy whether the aging rover will have the capacity to work again after the storm closes.

The picture underneath demonstrates a progression of pictures that NASA mimicked from the point of view of the Opportunity rover.


They give a feeling of what the sun and sky have looked like from Mars’ surface – at the brightest time – as the storm has declined. In the far-right picture, the sun is altogether scratched out to Opportunity.

NASA’s more current  Curiosity rover keeps running on atomic power and is situated in a region of Mars that has been less influenced by the dust storm, so it is by all accounts doing fine.

This animation demonstrates the tidy storm spreading (it’s that orangeish blob), with the areas of the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers labeled.

Further Readings on ScienceAlert, Business Insider.
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Author: Wan


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