'Impossible' to make Mars like Earth with current technology - NASA study

Matt Damon in The Martian
Credit
Aidan Monaghan

On Tuesday, July 31, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been in decades. Earth and Mars have oval shaped orbits, like all other planets.

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.

The Earth moves between the sun and Mars every other year.

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July is the "Summer of Mars", so it's only fitting that the red planet will be wrapping up the month with its most spectacular show yet - a close encounter.

In this image from Hubble's visible so-called classical ring of Saturn, which were the first recorded explorers of the planet. Earth takes roughly a year (or 365.25 days, to be exact) to complete a revolution around the sun, while Mars does it in 1.88 years (approximately 687 days). NASA said that the planets won't be rubbing shoulders that closely again until 2287.

"The Red Planet will be at its brightest since 2003, when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years since September, 24, 57617 BC", Dr Debiprosad Duari, director, Research & Academic, MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research had said earlier this month.

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Another, called Marsha, is a three-floor egg-shaped tower that expands and contracts to cope with Mars's sudden and extreme temperature changes. During opposition, a planet will appear larger than usual, and its brightest colours are visible. Astronomer James Durbano from Big Sky Astronomical Society has given us some tips on how we can observe the Red Planet on this very special night.

However, according to scientists from University of Colorado, Boulder in the US, Mars does not retain enough carbon dioxide that could practically be put back into the atmosphere to warm the planet. This is the nearest that Mars has come (57.6 million kilometers to earth) since its record-breaking close approach in August 28, 2003.

This phenomenon is expected to occur next in 2034.

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A new study that was published on Monday in Nature Astronomy may have cast doubts on whether humans can terraform Mars, but Elon Musk is having none of it and still believes that we will be able to colonize the red planet. In fact, the planet's best visibility is estimated to be from July 27 to July 30, meaning you still have tonight to experience a sight you wont get for at least another 15 years.

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