We are rapidly coming up on the pinnacle of the current Mars apparition, when it arrives at opposition to the sun and its closest point to the Earth. But will the weather cooperate for you to get a good look at Mars at its best?
First, be aware that the very best views of Mars will not be confined to a single night. Mars will arrive at opposition to the sun — when it will rise at sunset, reach its highest point in the sky during the middle of the night and set at sunrise — on Friday (July 27). However, because Earth and Mars follow elliptical orbits around the sun, Mars' closest approach to Earth usually occurs either several days before or after opposition. In this case, Mars will come within 35,784,481 miles (57,589,547 kilometers) of Earth four days after opposition, at 3:50 a.m. EDT (0750 GMT) on Tuesday (July 31). It will then take a light beam just 3 minutes and 12 seconds to cross the interplanetary gulf between Earth and Mars.
So, you will have a stretch of five nights, from Friday through Tuesday, to get your very best views. [Mars at Opposition 2018: How to See It and What to Expect]
Read more at Space.com HERE
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