Mars, April 14, very close to Earth


During the time needed to read this story we will be around 1, 000 km closer to Mars. The Earth and the red planet are in fact approaching a meeting that takes place once every 26 months.

And from March to April the two planets approached at a speed of about 300 km per minute, an approach that will have its peak in the night between 14 and 15 April when the Earth-Mars distance will be only 92 million kilometers, a small trait if we consider the planetary distances existing in the solar system. In any case it is not the minimum distance reached between the two planets, a situation that occurred in 2003 when the two objects approached as never before in the last 50, 000 years: at that time Mars reached up to 55 million kilometers from Earth.
Mars to the opposition
Just before the maximum approach, on the night of April 8th, Mars was in "opposition", that is, it found itself exactly on the opposite side of the Sun with respect to the Earth. A situation that makes the planet particularly bright.

How to observe Mars
These days the planet rises to the east at sunset and almost reaches the apex of the sky at midnight, shining like a very bright dot. This means that in these evenings, weather permitting, Mars is really easy to find in the sky.

There is also the eclipse (but they are in the Americas)
On the night of the 14th, by pure coincidence, there will also be the full Moon that will move in the constellation of the Virgin and for those who live in the Americas it will be a night of total eclipse for our satellite. Who will have the opportunity to observe the phenomenon will have the opportunity to see the Moon take on a reddish color, very similar to that of Mars.
Although April 8th and April 14th are "special" dates for the charm they can raise, throughout the month of April, however, it will be easy to watch Mars late at night when it starts to rise in the east and follow it on the sky for the whole night.

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And with a small telescope it will also be possible to seize the northern polar cap where summer began in February and is therefore retreating in spur for the ice sublimation. And the effects of the Martian summer can also be seen in this video showing the effects of solar heating on the Martian surface in the area called "Inca City".

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