As inquisitive scientists are about the red planet Mars, people on Earth only see it as a red shining star in the night sky. But for stargazers and Astro enthusiasts, tonight will be a good time to look closely at the Martian land. Some may still be admiring the pictures of the longest lunar eclipse which took place on July 27. Earth and Mars will be closest to each other for the first time in 15 years on July 31. Mars will be 57.6 million kilometers (35.8 million miles) from the Earth. Mars will reach the highest point around midnight, it will be seen 35 degrees above the southern horizon. And you could observe it for almost throughout the night. Venus and Moon Conjunction Photos Are Going Viral, Check The Beautiful Pictures!
The last time Mars was so close to our planet was in the year 2003. And before that, it was that close about 60,000 years ago. After July 31 is the closest between the two planets until the next Mars opposition which will be on September 15, 2035. A Martian opposition is when the Sun and the Mars are on exact opposite sides of the earth. They thus appear to be on the opposite sides of the sky, thus called the Mars opposition.
Just a few days ago, the Moon and Saturn too were very close to each other. In the middle of August, Mars will begin to appear fainter again as the distance between the Mars and Earth will go on increasing. The red planet will appear brighter until September 7. So even if you miss it tonight because of the cloudy skies, you can still observe the planet in observance for the next two months. Currently, Mars will be shining brighter than Jupiter, which is known as the brightest one.