Mars closest to Earth on July 31

Jo Lloyd
August 1, 2018

With Mars and the Sun on either sides and Earth in the middle, the three celestial bodies will be in a straight line on Tuesday.

However it will be closest to Earth this Tuesday, July 31st, when the planet will be at a distance of 57.6 million kilometres - this phenomenon is called Mars Close Approach. That's why most NASA missions to the Red planet, separated by time intervals of two years - to use a closer distance.

The evening of 31 July will see Mars will appear quite brightly, omitting an orange-red colour.

There is not enough carbon dioxide on the red planet for future colonies to alter warm the atmosphere to make it closer to that on Earth, a study has found. Because there is a giant dust storm that has been circling the entire planet!

It should be noted that, since Earth and Mars have elliptical orbits, slightly inclined to each other, all the convergence of the planets varies. From July 27 to July 30 we were able to see the planet at its brightest, but tonight the visibility will not be much worse. However, the gap between two planets was greater on the night of Lunar Eclipse than it will be today.

"Mars is going to be in opposition, which means that Mars is coming closer to the Earth", Reed said.

Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Calif. will livestream the close approach, from 1 to 4 a.m.

Right now, the red planet is on its closest approach to Earth in 15 years. Even if this loss were prevented somehow, allowing the atmosphere to build up slowly from outgassing by geologic activity, current outgassing is extremely low; it would take about 10 million years just to double Mars' current atmosphere, according to the team. The first way would involve ramping up the atmospheric pressure of Mars considerably so that humans could hopefully get by with a limited breathing apparatus.

The planet Mars comes in for a close-up tonight, the biggest this world has seen in 15 years.

The project has been built on the NASA-backed virtual reality simulation game Mars 2030 which gives people a 3D Martian experience without having to travel 55 million kilometres to get there.

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