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Mars Is At Its Closest to Earth Since 2003 Today! It Won't Be Closer Until 2287

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Mars Is At Its Closest to Earth Since 2003 Today! It Won't Be Closer Until 2287

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:22 pm

Story :

Early this morning, Mars made its closest approach to Earth since 2003 — but if you missed it, the Red Planet is still a magnificent sight to see in the night sky. Humanity will have to wait 269 years for Mars to get much closer, NASA says.

At 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT), Mars reached the closest point to Earth in its orbit. The Red Planet hadn't been that close to Earth since August 2003. (And when this last approach occurred, it was the first time in 60,000 years that Mars had come so close.) This occurrence follows last week's Mars event: On Friday (July 27), the Red Planet reached opposition with the sun and remained at its brightest in the night sky through Monday night and early today (July 31).

According to NASA, Mars was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Earth at its closest point this morning. In August 2003, Mars was a smidge closer: 34.6 million miles (55.6 million km). Mars won't be that close to Earth until 2287, according to a NASA update. Mars will reach opposition again before then. In October 2020, the Red Planet will reaches opposition and will be 38.6 million miles (62.1 million km) from Earth, according to NASA's update.

You can see Mars tonight by looking to the southwestern sky. Weather permitting, Mars will be visible low on the southwestern horizon, with the moon shining to the upper left. Saturn will also be visible, as shown in the map below.

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Re: Mars Is At Its Closest to Earth Since 2003 Today! It Won

Postby troyharper » Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:31 pm

Missed this! Got any photos?
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