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Mars Opposition will bring Red Planet closer to Earth on July 27

Mars opposition on July 27: Mars and Earth will be at their closest distance in 15 years, as the planets align with the Sun around the same time as the blood moon and total lunar eclipse.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune |
Updated: July 24, 2018 12:17:02 pm
Mars, Mars opposition on July 27, distance between Earth and Mars, how to watch Mars opposition, solar system, Mars opposition time and date in India, Mars orbit, NASA Mars opposition Mars opposition on July 27: Mars will come at its nearest point to the Earth in 15 years, around the same time as the total lunar eclipse and the blood moon. (Image: NASA)

Fifteen years after its closest brush with Earth, Mars will once again be within a close range to our planet this week. The Red Planet will be 57.6 million km away from the Earth on July 27 in a celestial event called Opposition — and event in which the the Sun and the Earth align in a straight line with a third planet. In 2003, the year of the previous Mars opposition, the red Planet had come within 3.2 million km of our planet, the closest distance between the two planet in almost 60,000 years.

Arvind Paranjpe, the director of Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai, said, “The distance between Mars and Earth ranges between 100 million km and 56 million km. Mars and Earth will be about 57.6 million km away from each other on July 27. These two planets do come almost this close after every 15 to 17 years.”

Also read: Lunar Eclipse 2018 date, time in India: Timings for watching century’s longest eclipse

Mars and Earth are the third and fourth planets in the Solar System, and are the closest neighbouring planet to each other. But the distance between them keeps varying every year, as the planets reach different points in their orbit around the Sun. On July 27, experts have warned that a cloudy sky may come in the way of sighting the Mars opposition. They have recommended the use of a telescope, fitted with a lens with a 6-inch aperture, to witness the phenomenon. According to NASA, this event will not be witnessed again before 2034, when the next Mars inversion is predicted.

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