Mars making closest approach to Earth in 15 years

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The planet Mars, the only planet whose surface we can see using ground based telescopes (except for tiny Mercury) is coming closer to the earth on 31st of July 2018 after 15 years.

Mars will come even closer to Earth on September 11th, 2035.

The last closest approach was in 2003, when Mars was 34.6 million miles (55.7 million kilometers) from Earth "and the closest it had been in almost 60,000 years", said NASA.

The local stargazers are invited for a camp to witness the Red Planet from 7 pm to 10 pm tonight at the Colombo Campus grounds.

During the confrontation, the Sun, the Earth and the planet are perfectly aligned, which creates excellent conditions for observations of the planets that are at a minimum distance from the Earth and are well-lit by the Sun.

Mars was in opposition on July 27, while Saturn was in opposition a month earlier on June 27, so Earth has been getting spoiled with awesome glimpses of its neighboring planets in the past few months. The last instance of such occurrence was in 2003 than back in some 60,000 years, and right now it's now only slightly farther from Earth now than then. In addition, while we have somewhat of an abundance of Carbon dioxide and greenhouses gasses on Earth, there isn't enough on Mars. We are talking about a distance of 57.6 million kilometers.

Close Approach is the point in Mars' orbit at which it comes closest to Earth.

A celestial phenomenon of this sort is expected to occur again in the year 2287.

In this image from Hubble's visible so-called classical ring of Saturn, which were the first recorded explorers of the planet, reports the online edition of the with reference for a New time.

Luckily, you can see Mars easily with the naked eye.

The Red Planet will appear super bright with an orange-red tint making it almost impossible to miss in the nighttime sky.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. You can also look through a telescope.

Mars will be the bright reddish star below the moon, near the horizon. This close distance puts Mars at its brightest appearance in the night sky since the 2003 opposition.

There are observational camps conducted by astronomers all over the world to observe this rare event.