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

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By mid-August, the planet will become fainter as Mars and Earth travel farther away from each other in their orbits around the sun.

Mars will come even closer to Earth on September 11th, 2035.

The Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, in partnership with Steward Observatory and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, will be holding a "Mars Magnified" event for the public on July 31, from 8 p.m.to 2 a.m.

In some cases, as the two planets get closer to each other, the Earth - being closer to the sun - comes between the star and the red planet.

Proponents of terraforming Mars propose releasing gases from a variety of sources on the Red Planet to thicken the atmosphere and increase the temperature to the point where liquid water is stable on the surface.

Surface features on Mars suggest that the planet was once warmer and wetter eons ago, but research from spacecraft on and around Mars in recent years have shown that much of the planet's atmosphere and its moisture were lost to space in ancient times. At the time, Mars and Earth will be 38.6 million miles (62.1 million km) apart.

Just 13 days before Mars came into opposition, scientists trained the telescope toward it to take a snapshot of the Red Planet.

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The last time it came so close was on August 28, 2003, when it was within 55.76 million kilometres of Earth, according to EarthSky - and that was the closest it had been in nearly 60,000 years.

Though Mars is closest to the Earth in 15 years is a phenomenon for our generation, it is nowhere as big a deal as it was in 2003. Just using the deposits near the surface would require extensive strip mining, and going after all the Carbon dioxide attached to dust particles would require strip mining the entire planet to a depth of around 100 yards.

The two stellar bodies will not meet again this close for another 17 years. Should we look more towards Mars or the Moon in our space programs?

If weather is bad where you are, NASA will be streaming live from the Griffith Observatory.

What: Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in 15 years, separated by almost 57.6 million km.

While it will still be a distant 35.8 million miles away from us, you can easily spot it with your naked eye in the southern sky after sunset.

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