(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.
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: