Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Mars to be very close to Earth on July 27

Mars to be very close to Earth on July 27

Mars will still be 35.8 million miles away though, so there's certainly no danger of it bumping into us.

On Friday, Mars will be at "opposition", which occurs when the Earth lies directly between Mars and the sun, making the sun and Mars appear in opposite directions as viewed from the Earth.

Mars is already brighter than usual and will shine even more- and appear bigger - as Tuesday nears.

Astronomers have revealed that Mars will be within a close range of our planet Earth on July 25 - fifteen years after its closest brush with Earth. It will be easy to spot Mars on Thursday night as it will be sitting just below a almost full moon.

Mars will be at its brightest appearance since 2003 when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years.

NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) spacecraft has found a new type of Martian aurora that occurs over much of the day side of the planet. The release of the photos coincides with the planet's close approach to Earth.

The Red Planet begins to brighten discernibly in June as the gap closes, and it will turn on an exceptional show for sky watchers from Jul 27 to 30.

The blood moon lunar eclipse is here (and so is Mars)
This period of complete lunar eclipse - known as "totality", is the time when the moon appears darkest or reddish in colour. Friday's eclipse is the first to be visible from Ireland since September 2015 and will be the longest of this century.

Mars will be easily visible with the naked eye - weather permitting. Mars can be seen near Capricornus.

Hubble, one of the largest space telescopes, captured images of dust storms on the Red Planet this summer. "Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red color, you really can't miss it in the sky".

They line up again at the same distance in 2287. CU Boulder astronomer Doug Duncan talked to Colorado Matters about how to spot the planet and why it'll be so visible from July 27-31.

If the weather does not cooperate for stargazers, there should still be plenty of opportunities to see the planet in the coming weeks.

They're hosting Mars Watch 2018 at the Brooks Observatory in McMaster Hall from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday as well as July 30, July 31, and August 1.

The total lunar eclipse on Friday will be visible in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

The blood moon will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century and will occur just after 9pm United Kingdom time on Friday July 27.

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