Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

NASA Mars Rover captures incredible selfie as dust storm sweeps Red Planet

NASA Mars Rover captures incredible selfie as dust storm sweeps Red Planet

During July 2018, Mars will be coming within 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) of Earth, which is the closest the Red Planet has come since 2003.

Mars won't be this close again till September 15, 2035.

According to Dean Regasa (Dean Regas), astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory, Mars will be easily visible to the naked eye.

What makes it very unique is that, in addition to getting Mars closer to Earth, it will also bring the red planet to the closest point to the sun in its orbit within a few weeks of the opposition. They give a sense of what the sun and sky have looked like from Mars' surface - at the brightest time of the day - as the storm has worsened.

Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip.

The reason that Mars will come so close to Earth can be explained by the particular characteristics of the planets' orbits.

Daily Star brings you the most mesmerizing images from Mars alongside fascinating facts about the mysterious planet. However, the orbits of both planets are elliptical, or oval-shaped, meaning that the planets come slightly closer to the Sun at one end of their orbits compared to the other.

The occurrence of the Perihelic opposition usually happens in every 15 to 17 years, and it happened when it was aligned with the two planets close to each other. "Gravitational tugging by the other planets constantly changes the shape of our orbits a little bit".

Mars will be in perihelic opposition and stargazers will get a good view of the red planet. Giant Jupiter especially influences the orbit of Mars.

Next month, you have a unique opportunity to go outside and see the planet, Mars.

Nasa added: "During opposition, Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth".

This clearly wasn't true, because Mars is only half the size of Earth and is about 34 million miles away.

NASA reported in 2003 that Mars made its closest distance to the Earth in 60,000 years.! It is expected to be brightest in the hours before sunrise of Tuesday, July 31.

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