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NASA found out that the skies over Mars put up quite a show for at least half of the planet, but it's a show very hard to observe.

Mars' orbit has been getting closer to the Earth's, leading to great visibility for the end of July.

The Red Planet will be just 35.8 million miles away from humanity's homeworld next Tuesday.

Every two years or so, the orbits of Mars and Earth around the sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle - an event known as opposition. Mars will still be more visible than normal for a while, but will become fainter as it travels farther from Earth during the planets' orbits around the sun.

Mars is already brighter than usual and will shine even more - and appear bigger - as Tuesday nears.

However, there is a global dust storm obscuring the red planet that could continue through August and into September.

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This and the 60,000-year gap statement are true, according to the agency, but they represent "a bit of hype" as Mars and Earth have been nearly this close many times in recent history. Mars can be seen near Capricornus. First, a solar wind proton approaches Mars at high speed and encounters a cloud of hydrogen surrounding the planet.

NASA plans to release on Friday what scientists say will be stunning new images of Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

"The answer was thievery", said Justin Deighan, of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, lead author of a paper on this research appearing July 23 in Nature Astronomy.

"It will appear to be a very bright orange star and you'll be able to watch it creep across the sky", said Kelly.

The planet's closest approach to Earth occurred in 2003 when the two planets drew within 34.6 million miles, the closest approach in almost 60,000 years. It won't come that close again until the year 2287! On Mars, they are the result of protons, and scientists have just figured out how the events happen. The best viewing of the planet will coincide with the lunar eclipse on Friday, July 27. NASA's Martian probes are now watching one unfold over the Red Planet. For some, that means a chance to see a total lunar eclipse - the longest of the 21st century, but the eclipse won't be visible from the United States.


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