Mars makes closest pass to Earth for next 15 years

Beyond The Forecast

Derek Berwin (Getty Images)

(WFRV) – Mars will make its closest approach to Earth Tuesday night as it will pass within 38.5 million miles of Earth. This year Earth makes its closest approach to Mars near Mars’ perihelion, or its closest distance to the sun.

As a result, Oct. 6 will be the closest pass between the planets until 2035. That means Mars will be at its brightest!

What is close approach?

Earth and Mars become nearest to each other on their orbits around the sun. The minimum distance between the two planets is 33.9 million miles. Both planets do not have perfect circular orbits around the sun, and also take different amounts of time to orbit around the sun. This causes the distance between the planets to vary.

Courtesy: NASA

The planet will be visible in the sky for much of the night making its highest peak around midnight. It will be very apparent through telescope and visible to the naked eye as well. Mars will become fainter over the next few days as the Earth’s orbit takes it further away from it.

The forecast for Tuesday tonight in Northeast Wisconsin is calling for a few showers and clouds that could obscure Mars.

Mars close approach happens about every 26 months. This often is when space expeditions are launched to Mars because of the closer distance. Mars opposition comes on Oct. 13 when the sun and Mars are on direct opposite sides of the Earth.

Have awesome photos of Mars tonight? Share it with us:

WFRV Local 5 on Facebook | Storm Team 5 on Twitter

Latest Posts

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

High School Sports Xtra: Notre Dame rolls in Game of the Week; Ashwaubenon pulls big upset

High School Sports Xtra: Local 5 Top 5 Plays, Ashwaubenon Team of the Week

High School Sports Xtra: Dorn breaks Seymour boys record

High School Hoops: Ashwaubenon upsets De Pere, favorites hold court in NEC

Dorn becomes Seymour boy's all-time leading scorer, St. Mary Catholic & Lourdes Academy cruise

GREEN BAY NATION 1/13/21: HERE COME THE RAMS