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Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Mars terraforming not possible with current technologies

Mars terraforming not possible with current technologies

Close Approach is the point in Mars' orbit at which it comes closest to Earth.

The position of Mars as opposed to the earth in end-July is such that the fourth planet is only 5.7 crore kilometres from earth at its nearest approach.

This doesn't necessarily mean that the dream of living on Mars is dead, but it does suggest that the Red Planet's most important industry could be selling and maintaining reliable spacesuits.

That's because Earth's orbit around the sun is 365 days, but it takes Mars 687 days to take a lap around our star. It's rocky, it's not too big or too small and its temperature isn't that far off from what we experience here on Earth, relative to the rest of the planets in our neighborhood.

He said due to opposition planet Mars, Earth and Sun were opposite to each other in a straight line from our perspective on earth.

Come July 31 and you will witness Mars and Earth be closest to each other for the first time in 15 years since their last approach being in 2003.

For instance, back in early 2017 researchers examined data that was collected from the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) program and noted then also that there wasn't enough Carbon dioxide in the red planet's atmosphere.

Mars is now the closest to Earth than it has been in 15 years
Just 57.6 million kilometres apart, Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in 15 years

The minimum distance from the Earth to Mars is about 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers), and is rarely achieved.

Mars opposition that had occurred in August 2003 brought the two planets closest distance in approximately 60,000 years.

There's also a hexagonal pattern visible around the planet's north pole, which is a stable wind feature that was discovered way back in 1981.

If you're fortunate enough to spot the red planet through a telescope, you may be able to see the planet-wide dust storm that's been raging since June.

The planet will remain bright for several weeks, and you can also view the planets Saturn, Jupiter and Venus in a "long arc across the sky from east to west" shortly after sunset. As sunsets begin creeping up even earlier in late summer and early autumn, viewers will be able to see the planet higher in the evening sky.

This rare phenomenon can be observed with the naked eye tonight and Mars will be the brightest celestial object in the night sky after the Moon.

As for novice astronomers who might be a little bummed they missed the 3:50 a.m. wake up call, NASA streamed Mars' close encounter with Earth live from the Griffith Observatory.

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