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Mars Will Be Closer To The Earth This Week Than For Another 15 Years

Mars Will Be Closer To The Earth This Week Than For Another 15 Years

Sky gazers, take note, because Mars will be closer to Earth this week than for another fifteen years.

Currently the planet is sitting just north of the celestial equator, which means it's well placed to be seen from both hemispheres and will be shining with extra brightness and intensity.

A 'close approach' like this occurs when Mars and Earth come nearest to each other in their orbits around the sun, this time at about 38.6 million miles (62.07 million kilometres) from our planet, according to NASA.

(Credit: Unsplash)
(Credit: Unsplash)
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The conjunction means that Mars - the fourth planet from the sun, known as The Red Planet - will be visible for much of the night in the southern sky and is at its highest point at about midnight.

The team behind ScienceAlert.com advise that the night Earth will "be the absolute closest to Mars is the 6th October", and that "Mars will be bright, big and easy to see with or without a telescope."

The mesmerising sight only occurs once or twice every 15 to 17 years, so don't miss your chance of spotting it!

According to NASA: "When Mars and Earth are close to each other, Mars appears very bright in our sky. It also makes it easier to see with telescopes or the naked eye.

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"The Red Planet comes close enough for exceptional viewing only once or twice every 15 or 17 years."

NASA continue: "Simply go outside and look up and, depending on your local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars."

The closest approach ever recorded happened back in 2003, with only 55.7 million kilometres separating us from Mars.

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A very close approach is due in 2035, at just 56.9 million kilometres (35.4 million miles) apart.

So, start blocking out your 2035 sky gazing calendars now!

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Life News, News, Nasa, space, astronomy

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Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.