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Mars is the closest it has been to Earth in 15 years

03 August 2018

At 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT), Mars reached the closest point to Earth in its orbit.

The record for the closest Mars ever got to Earth was set in 2003, when the red planet was only 34.6 million miles away.

Skywatchers flocked to astronomical observatories and science museums across Japan on July 31 as Mars made its closest approach to Earth in 15 years.

Penn State researchers say they've found a way for astronauts to use their waste to make food in space, something that could help in deep space missions to mars.

As for Mars, under the current conditions there, a human without the proper equipment would die within the first hours on the Red Planet because the low atmospheric pressure would disrupt human's organs out of the body.

The last closest approach was in 2003 when Mars was 34.6 million miles (55.7 million kilometers) from Earth "and the closest it had been in almost 60,000 years", said NASA.

Luckily, you can see Mars easily with the naked eye. Mars looks like a bright, red star in the east every evening and in the west before dawn. "It won't be this close again until the year 2050, and it will appear bigger and brighter than usual because it's closer to earth", Culbertson said. Add a telescope and you can see a detailed view of the planet's surface and its polar caps.

Mars will be visible in the event horizon at sunset on Tuesday, making its way to the centre of the sky where it will be most visible at midnight.

The perihelion opposition of 2003 was unusually close-NASA said the two planets won't get that close together again until August 28, 2287.

For about two months between July 7 and September 7, Mars will glow even brighter, outshining Jupiter and earning the title of the fourth-brightest object in Earth's sky after Venus, the moon, and the sun.