May 30 will present a treat for all astronomers and stargazers, as the red planet Mars will be closest to Earth than it has been in over a decade.
So get ready to witness a rare celestial event, as a similar occurrence will not take place until 2018.
According to NASA, on May 30, the red planet will be 46.8 million miles away from us, reaching its highest point around midnight. Mars is expected to appear bigger and brighter in the night sky from May 18 until May 30. It will appear almost 10 times brighter than what it was at the start of the year.
Explaining the phenomenon behind this occurrence, NASA said that the gravitational pull by planets, which the space agency said influences the shape of the orbit of the planets, is the principal reason behind the astronomical event. The orbits of the two planets are slated with respect to one another, which is why the event of them coming at a “close” distance occurs rarely.
According to News Observer, Jupiter is expected to shine brighter than the red planet. There is merely a difference of 10 percent between the brightness of the biggest planet in our solar system and Mars from our distant view. However, one will be able to note the difference between the two due to their colors; while Jupiter appears white because of its clouds, Mars will be reddish as it doesn’t have a cloud cover.
Mars is gradually becoming more elongated with time, as reported by the Daily Mail. This could suggest a possibility of the planet gliding closer to the sun and extending more into the solar system.
The most ideal time to witness the red planet will be around midnight.
The location of Mars can be tracked through mobile apps of through this website.