Mars makes closest approach to Earth in 15 years

NASA определилось с жильем для первых колонистов Марса

It's a rare occurrence that won't happen again until 2020.

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.

Mars gets closest to Earth; date and time, how to watch, what to expect: Mars will be at its closest distance to the Earth during an Opposition phase, a phenomenon that occurs about once in every 15 years. At this point, the ringed planet was 1.4 billion kilometers (870 million miles) away from Earth and its spectacular rings are almost at maximum tilt toward the planet, offering a breathtaking angle of Saturn to photograph. The distance between Earth and the Red Planet will be as short as 57.6 million kilometers, which is relatively close on the scale of our solar system.

Our red planet neighbour has been visible and prominent in the sky over our fair city for several days now, with tonight being the best and brightest.

When Mars slowly approaches what astronomers call opposition, it and the Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.

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NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, Mars Curiosity took to Twitter and wrote,"I feel so close to you right now".

Mars is not Earth's closest planetary neighbor. It is normally 250 million miles away from our planet.

Without a telescope, Mars will look more like an especially bright star with a reddish tint. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. Our neighbouring red planet is clearly an object of interest for many. Humanity will have to wait 269 years for Mars to get much closer, NASA says. It will be brighter than the gas giant Jupiter and as bright as Saturn in the night sky.

The basic idea behind making Mars habitable, also known as "terraforming", is to release enough of the carbon dioxide trapped in the planet's surface to thicken the atmosphere, heating up the planet enough to keep water in a liquid state.

The planet will remain bright for several weeks, and you can also view the planets Saturn, Jupiter and Venus in a "long arc across the sky from east to west" shortly after sunset.

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