Mars is shining big & bright as it comes closest to Earth in 15 years
The planet will be easily visible by the naked eye, while those with a telescope may be able to spot details on the planet’s surface, such as its ice caps.
However, dust storms currently engulfing the planet may obscure details that are usually visible with telescopes, Widener University astronomer Harry Augensen told the international media.
On the plus side, the Martian dust will better reflect sunlight, making the planet appear even brighter from Earth.
“It’s magnificent. It’s as bright as an aeroplane landing light,” Augensen added. “Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red colour, you really can’t miss it in the sky.”
In 2003, Mars came its closest to Earth in 60,000 years – 34.6 million miles – a feat that won’t be repeated until August 28, 2287.
People in Australia, Africa, much of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South America will also be treated to a lunar eclipse (at least part of it) on Friday night, which is expected to last for one hour and 43 minutes.
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