This week, Mars will be closest to Earth for another 15 years

Mars, our second closest cosmic cousin, has been in our collective imagination for decades. Between the fantasies of visiting Mars and the promise of water under its icy surface, Mars doesn’t have to do much to stay in our collective good books.

But very soon, Mars is moving not only closer to our heart, but also closer to our real planet – just 62.1 million kilometers (38.6 million miles) away from Earth.

It will be the closest to this for the next 15 years. And that means stargazing is highly recommended because Mars will be brighter, bigger and easier to see with or without binoculars.

We would recommend checking out a sky chart to work out where Mars will be in the night sky of your location so you can plan for an excellent view.

But the good news is, it will be with very few stars in the field of the night sky, and if you’re lucky, you should also be able to catch Jupiter and Saturn shining near the horizon.

The day we will be closest to Mars is October 6, so go ahead.

As you can see in this video below, both Mars and Earth are in slightly elliptical orbits, meaning they can occasionally come very close to each other.

The closest possible encounter occurs when the Earth is farther from the Sun (Mars) and Mars is closest to the Sun (Perihilian). At this point the two will be at least 54.6 million kilometers (33.9 million miles) apart.

This configuration is called antagonism, and it occurs every two years or more thereafter. But we never really noticed that hitting the perfect ‘near’ point.

The closest approach we’ve ever seen was back in 2003, with only 55.7 million kilometers of Mars separating us. Two years ago, 2018 was very close between us with only 57.6 million kilometers (35.8 million miles).

Unfortunately though, we continue to align with our nearest neighbor and will not start approaching again until 2029, ending in a very close approach in 2035 – except for only 56.9 million kilometers (35.4 million miles) – so start your 2035 Mars observation schedule Plan ahead!

When there is a connection at the other end of opposite dimensions, when the two planets are far from each other. They can cover 401 million kilometers (250 miles) from each other. This happens when Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of the Sun and both are in their aphelion.

It is for this reason that space agencies take advantage of the short distances between our planets when these windows arise. This year was a great opportunity for many missions to the Red Planet.

If you remember, Mars One started landing on Mars in 2020 before its um, it never did.

But three missions took off successfully. NASA’s Perseverance Rover is halfway through its journey to the Red Planet after the explosion back in July, while two other missions have departed for Mars in the same two-week window.

Like the Mars Sample Return – many missions ahead of Mars, will travel in 2022, but they will have to travel another 20 million kilometers, as we will be at a distance of 81.5 million kilometers (50.6 million miles). Our closest approach during this time.

So this week is a pretty special opportunity that we won’t have again until 2035. Surely you will have fun as soon as you go to Mars!