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'Impossible' to make Mars like Earth with current technology - NASA study

01 August 2018

In reality, at Mars' closest approach, the moon still appeared 75 times larger than the Red Planet, while Mars appeared as an extremely bright, star-like object that was visible for much of the night.

As Mars will be in the nearest position to the Earth, people can get the view from sunset until sunrise. Find that orangey-red circle in the sky that looks bigger and brighter than usual.

Stunning pictures of Mars and Saturn taken as the two planets were making their closest approach to Earth this year have been released.

According to NASA, Mars was 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers) from Earth at its closest point this morning.

Although Mars reached its closest point in 15 years when most of us were still asleep at around 3:50 a.m. ET, there's no need to worry.

On the night of 31 July, Mars will be closest to the Earth in 15 years.

When the planet reaches its closest distance from Earth later today, it allows stargazers to see it in its brightest form.

Glen Nagle, of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, told nine.com.au that Earth is now in "opposition", meaning Mars and the sun will be on precise opposite sides of our planet.

On the evening of July 31, and the planet will be seen rising from the Gemini constellation in India and you will be able to see it with the naked eye.

The snapshot of Mars, captured on July 18, reveals that it is in the midst of a global dust storm, with spring in the southern hemisphere. Because a Mars year and Earth year take different amounts of time, their orbits will soon desynch and the planets will separate.

But the dust reflects sunlight, which enables Mars to appear even brighter from Earth, Mr Nagle says. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles will be hosting a live stream of the event. The broadcast will continue till 4pm EST (1.30am IST on August 1).

If you miss this approach, the next time you'll catch one will be in 2020, when it will be 62.07 million kilometres from Earth.

'Impossible' to make Mars like Earth with current technology - NASA study