Mars closest to Earth at 57m kilometres

Mars is now the closest to Earth than it has been in 15 years

Mars will shine brightly and will appear to bigger than normal on Tuesday.

Don't forget to look up and catch a glimple of a brigher Mars tonight as the Red Planet makes its closest approach to Earth in 15 years on Tuesday when the two planets will be 57.6 million kilometres apart. The red planet will continue to appear at its brightest until early August, so you could enjoy Mars' close encounter with Earth for days.

On July 31, Mars will be 35.8 million miles from Earth, the closest distance it has been to Earth in 15 years.

If you do, you'll get to see Mars up close for the first time since 2003, when it last made an approach like this.

Mars' closest approach to Earth is July 31, 2018.

Here is when and how users can get the best view of Mars, and why this opposition is different from its previous versions.

That represents the point in the red planet's orbit at which it comes closest to Earth.

If you miss the Mars Close Approach, the next approach will be October 6, 2020.

A map of the sky that shows Mars and Saturn, as they can be seen from NY on July 31 at 11 pm. That was the closest in 60,000 years, and that kind of range won't happen again until the year 2287.

NASA and its partners are holding a $2.5 million competition to build a 3D printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency's journey to Mars. It is normally 250 million miles away from our planet. As sunsets begin creeping up even earlier in late summer and early autumn, viewers will be able to see the planet higher in the evening sky.

Also, a high powered telescope with a large lens (6 to 8 inch in size) is recommended, but even then clouds may obstruct the view.

If you missed it, don't believe any insane stories you may hear about its apparent size.

Like all other planets, Earth and Mars have elliptical orbits, meaning oval in shape.

One popular public viewing spot was the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, where Mars was visible with the naked eye as a bright orange spot in the sky, according to a live broadcast held to mark the celestial event.

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