Mars to come closest to Earth in 15 years next month

Star gazers could have a good view of the Red Planet next month as Mars is set to come to the closest point to Earth since 2003 when it reaches opposition with the Sun in late July.

This year, Mars opposition will occur on July 27, according to NASA.

During opposition, Mars is especially photogenic because it can be seen fully illuminated by the Sun as viewed from Earth.

“Since Mars and the Sun appear on opposite sides of the sky, we say that Mars is in ‘opposition’,” NASA explained.

Every 15 or 17 years, opposition occurs within a few weeks of Mars’ perihelion – the point in its orbit when it is closest to the Sun.