Skywatchers can see close, bright Mars looming large this month

May 20, 2016 at 3:17 pm

CAPE CANAVERAL: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in a decade this month, providing sky-watchers with a celestial show from dusk to dawn starting this week, NASA said on Thursday.

The red planet already looms large in the nighttime skies, appearing as a bright, fire-yellow, star-like light as a result of Earth, the third planet from the sun, and Mars, the fourth, coming into close alignment.

“Just look southeast after the end of twilight, and you can’t miss it,” Sky & Telescope magazine editor Alan MacRobert said in a statement.

This alignment occurs about every 26 months.

On Thursday, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a photograph of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as the planet neared Earth last week. The detailed image showed polar caps and clouds above Mars’ rust-hued landscape.

On May 30, Mars and Earth will come closer than they have been in a decade, NASA said. Mars will be 46.8 million miles away.

The distance between Earth and Mars reaches up to about 250 million miles depending on the ever-changing positions of the two planets as they circle around the sun.

If skies are clear, Mars will be visible for much of the night and can be easily seen without a telescope or binoculars.

Mars has been even closer to Earth before. In August 2003, Earth and Mars were just 35 million miles (56 million km) apart, a quirk stemming from the planets’ slightly oval-shaped orbits around the sun.

It will be almost 300 years before the planets come that close again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent News

Pakistan celebrates 71 years o
ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrated 71st Independence Day today (Tuesday) with traditional fervour and enthusiasm. All major public and private buildings, roads and avenues were decorated with illumin...
August 14, 2018 Read More
President, caretaker PM felici
ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain and caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk extended heartiest felicitations to all Pakistanis on the occasion of Independence Day. President Mamn...
August 14, 2018 Read More
Imran Khan felicitates Nation
Islamabad : Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan on Tuesday felicitated the nation on Independence Day as he vowed to realise Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal’s visio
August 14, 2018 Read More
shehbaz demands probe into rig
LAHORE (APP) - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday stressed the need for forging unity among the ranks of nation by setting aside differences in the larger interest o...
August 14, 2018 Read More
Sindh Governor-designate Imran
KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Sindh governor-designate, Imran Ismail on Tuesday claimed that he was denied entry to Mazar-e-Quaid, where he had to offer Fateha. The PTI leader ...
August 14, 2018 Read More
Nawaz, Maryam arrested at Laho
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, were arrested Friday night upon their arrival in Lahore, a week after being sentenced to prison in the Avenfield Pr...
July 14, 2018 Read More
ICT development vital for coun
ISLAMABAD, Jul 13 (APP):Prime Minister Justice (Retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk Fridays while inaugurating the Pak-China Optical Fiber Cable project said that the development of information and communication tech...
July 14, 2018 Read More
128 dead 150 injured in Mastun
At least 128 people, including politician Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, were killed and more than 200 injured in a deadly suicide blast in Balochistan's Mastung district on Friday afternoon, Balochistan Ho...
July 14, 2018 Read More