Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 6, planet Earth will witness a rare astronomical event that will not be repeated until after 15 years, as the planet # Mars will reach the closest distance from our planet and will appear at a width of 22.6 arc seconds (slightly smaller than 2018), where it is 62.07 million kilometers. And that is a week before the encounter, and it will not come close to such a distance again until September of 2035.According to the scientific newspaper “Sciencealert”, Mars was in its historical approach in 2003 at the closest distance about 60,000 years ago, and it is now slightly farther from Earth than it was at that time. On August 27, 2003, Mars was at a distance of 55.76 million kilometers. It is best repeated on August 28, 2287, when the red planet will be 55.69 million km away.
It can be seen that the arrival of Mars to the closest distance and the encounter do not occur at the same time, and the reason is that the two planets revolve around the sun in elliptical orbits and are not completely rotated and are not on the exact same plane, where the interval between the encounter of Mars and the lowest distance with the Earth is 8.5 days (General 1969), or less than 10 minutes (2208 and 2232).
It takes # Mars 687 days to orbit around the sun and pass its seasonal changes, as it undergoes two equinoxes and two solstices.
Mars is the only planet whose surface details can be seen from the Earth, and Mercury is very small, while other planets are covered with clouds, so it is an ideal event for everyone as Mars will be clearly and distinctively visible throughout the night and easy to identify in the dome of the sky.
Mars can be observed tomorrow evening easily with the naked eye, as it will appear as a point of light burning orange towards the eastern horizon at the beginning of the night, and on the western horizon before dawn, and when using the binoculars it will appear as a point of light without clear features completely as if you are looking at it with the naked eye, so the binoculars are not suitable To observe Mars, you will need to use an 8-inch or larger telescope.
In general, the period from October 6 to October 28 will provide the opportunity to see different features of the surface of Mars as the planet rotates on its axis, and unlike most astronomical events that last for a short period or one night, the period of this event of several weeks will provide many opportunities for repeated observation and improvement Observation skills.