Mars closest to earth in 15 years today

Michele Stevens
August 3, 2018

The atmospheric pressure on Mars is around 0.6 percent of Earth's. The image on the left, taken on May 12, 2016, shows a clear atmosphere. Meanwhile the very bright planet Venus pops up in the very low western sky in the evening twilight, but sets shortly thereafter. "Look to the south tonight to see the Red Planet shining bright", it said.

Mars is the fourth planet from the sun.

Mars will be visible in the night sky after sunset till sunrise from everywhere in India, provided the monsoon clouds don't play spoilsport.

"These data have provided substantial new information on the history of easily vaporised (volatile) materials like Carbon dioxide and H2O on the planet, the abundance of volatiles locked up on and below the surface, and the loss of gas from the atmosphere to space", said Christopher Edwards of Northern Arizona University in the US.

We are all presented with a chance to witness a rare event, as on July 31 Mars will reach the point in its orbit with the shortest distance to Earth in 15 years.

Surface features on Mars suggest that the planet was once warmer and wetter eons ago, but research from spacecraft on and around Mars in recent years have shown that much of the planet's atmosphere and its moisture were lost to space in ancient times.

According to astrophysicists, the axial tilt of Saturn, at 27 degrees explains the change of seasons and atmospheric activity. With summer in the northern hemisphere, the atmosphere is now more active.

This is called terraforming - altering a planet to make it more like Earth.

Gas shell of Mars is carbon dioxide. Global dust storms - lasting for weeks or months - tend to happen during the spring and summer in the southern hemisphere, when Mars is closest to the Sun and heating is at a maximum to generate winds.

The Red Planet is not going to be green anytime soon.

This is the first picture of Saturn in the framework of the project Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL).

But if the problem is mainly one of getting enough carbon dioxide out into the atmosphere of Mars, it would appear that Elon Musk already has an answer for that.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of worldwide cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency).

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