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The planet was observed near opposition, when the Sun, Earth and Mars are lined up, with Earth sitting in between the Sun and Mars.

But stick with us because this morning Mars will be just 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometres) away from Earth. This proximity gives the Red Planet its brightest appearance in the night sky since the 2003 opposition. On Tuesday, July 31, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been in decades.

But, when and where can I see it?

This is an artist's model of an early Mars - billions of years ago - which may have had oceans and a thicker atmosphere. Coupled with the lack of liquid water, intense solar radiation and harsh winds Mars will place serious hinders even for the successful projects. It will be visible high in the sky on the right side of the moon at around midnight.

However, according to scientists from University of Colorado, Boulder in the US, Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be put back into the atmosphere to warm the planet.

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Mars also has seasons, due in part to its 25-degree axial tilt, which is similar to Earth's 23.5-degree tilt. The red planet will appear at its brightest since 2003, when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years. The Red Planet is at its closest point to earth in 15 years and the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum (KSSTM) in the capital city is organising a series of viewings this week.

Get outside TONIGHT to see Mars as it approaches Earth closer than it has been in 15 years!

Telescopes staffed by employees and local volunteers will provide visitors viewing opportunities of the Red Planet.

The two stellar bodies will not meet again this close for another 17 years.

As for novice astronomers who might be a little bummed they missed the 3:50 a.m. wake up call, NASA streamed Mars' close encounter with Earth live from the Griffith Observatory. The perihelic opposition happens when Mars is at the nearest point to the Sun in its orbit, which happened on July 27 in 2018 - the night of the lunar eclipse. But, there will be another close approach in October 2020 when the distance between the Red Planet and Earth will be 38.6 million miles. It will be shining brighter than Jupiter, which in general, shines as the brightest in the sky only after Venus.


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