Yes, you read that right, the red planet will be in our nearest proximity, which will allow us to see our cosmic neighbour clearly. According to NASA, it is easily visible from midnight onwards in the ongoing month of October.
As per US-based space agency, currently, the distance between Mars and the Earth is 62.1 million kilometres. As per EarthSky, this will be the closest Mars would come towards the Earth in the next 15 years. This event started on October 6.
NASA in its skywatching guide wrote that October is the best time to view Mars as it reaches its highest point during midnight and then will be visible throughout the night. The reason behind this phenomenon is that Mars will come in direct opposition to the Earth from the Sun and will remain closest to the Earth in its respective orbit. Such an occurrence takes place every two years. Eventually, this is possible due to the fact that the Earth and Mars revolve around the Sun in their respective elliptical orbits in the same direction but at different speeds and at a different distance.
Meanwhile, the closest proximity of Earth and Mars at a distance of 54.6 million kilometres will perhaps be possible when Earth remains far away from Sun, called Aphelion, and Mars remains nearest to the Sun, called Perihelion. In the year 2018, both the planet came comparatively closer to each other at a distance of 57.6 million kilometres.
The most fascinating occurrence of the Earth and Mars coming close to each other with the shortest possible distance ever happened in the year 2003 when the distance was a mere 55.7 million kilometres. This was the closest distance between both the terrestrial planets in the last 60,000 years. As per EarthSky, Red planet will again come nearest to us in the year 2287 at a distance of 55.69 million kilometres.
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