Mars Will Appear Larger and Brighter Next Month

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 14:48

Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in 15 years, making it appear particularly large and bright, astronomers said.

On July 31, the Red Planet will come within just 35.8 million miles of Earth, Newsweek reports. Around this time, Mars will be easily visible to the naked eye, according to Dean Regas, an astronomer from the Cincinnati Observatory.

“In fact, you will be hard pressed to miss it,” Regas told Newsweek. “To the naked eye, it will look like a suspiciously bright, steadily-shining, orange star. Only Venus is a brighter star-like object (and it will be visible in the western sky at the same time).”

“Mars will be visible from nearly everywhere on Earth in July after sunset (only folks in the far north like Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland and Iceland won’t be able to see it since it won’t clear the southern horizon)—but all of the mainland U.S., most of Canada, Europe and Asia, all of Africa, Central and South America, Australia, and Antarctica can see Mars in July," Regas said.

Although Mars opposition will take place on July 27 this year, its closest approach will not be until July 31. It will appear at its brightest from July 27-30.

“Although Mars is closest to Earth at the end of July, you will be able to spot it every night for several months,” he adds. “It will slowly get dimmer as the Earth moves away from it, but still it [will] shine brightly.”


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