How you can watch Mars make its closest approach to Earth until 2035

U.S. & World

Mars will pass 38.5 million miles from Earth on Tuesday, making it the closest approach for the red planet until 2035.

The planet will be visible throughout the month of October, rising in the east each evening and west shortly before dawn.

In 2003, Mars passed 34.65 million miles within Earth — its closest approach in nearly 60,000 years. The red planet will not pass within 34.65 million miles of Earth again until 2287.

“Simply go outside and look up and, depending on your local weather and lighting conditions, you should be able to see Mars,” NASA said.

On Oct. 13, Earth will pass between Mars and the sun marking the Mars’ opposition.

“This period of excellent visibility coincides with the event known as opposition, which occurs about every two years, when Mars is directly on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun,” according to NASA. “This is also around the time when Mars and Earth come closest together in their orbits, meaning the Red Planet is at its brightest in the sky, so don’t miss it.”

You can see it with a telescope or even the naked eye. The late evening will be the best time for viewing.

While Mars is expected to approach Earth at the same distance in 2022, NASA experts said it won’t be as clearly visible due to the elliptical orbits and gravitational tugging on both planets. The next best opportunity will be 2035.


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