Mars will approach Earth at a minimum distance

Mars is now the closest to Earth than it has been in 15 years

But with a sulfuric-acid atmosphere and a surface temperature besting 800 degrees Fahrenheit (the hottest in the Solar System, even though Mercury is closer to the sun), Venus is not a viable option for human exploration.

While the Martian atmosphere does contain carbon dioxide, it can not support the formation of liquid water because it is to thin and cold. To get water to sit on the surface and stay there would require a much thicker atmosphere than it now has. Thus, evaporation of the polar caps will lead to an increase in atmospheric pressure to only 1.2 percent of the pressure on Earth. In effect, if we could warm Mars up, we would once again have a thick atmosphere and liquid oceans.

Although people viewing Mars from low latitudes and from the Southern Hemisphere will have the clearest view of the the Red Planet, Mars will be visible worldwide.

July 31 marks a significant day in space science.

"Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapour (H2O) are the only greenhouse gases that are likely to be present on Mars in sufficient abundance to provide any significant greenhouse warming", said Bruce Jakosky of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' Debuts With Franchise Best, $61.5M Opening
The Paramount film was also the second highest-grossing opening weekend for Cruise, eclipsed only by 2005's " War of the Worlds ". It also easily beat all competition to take the No. 1 spot on the box office chart for the final weekend of July.

Dr Jakobsky from the University of Colorado who published a study on life on Mars has said: "Our results suggest that there is not enough Carbon dioxide remaining on Mars to provide significant greenhouse warming were the gas to be put into the atmosphere".

Of course, that doesn't mean that terraforming Mars is impossible. When the planet reaches its closest distance from Earth later today, it allows stargazers to see it in its brightest form.

Every time the Mars comes closer to Earth, moderately large dust storms cover the continent-sized areas and last for weeks at a stretch. Thanks to NASA, we know that this kind of event, when the two planets are as close as now, will not happen again before 2287, therefore we simply can not miss it. The prize money - down to the penny - was based on scores assigned by a panel of NASA, academia and industry experts, with judges evaluating 18 total submissions from enterprising teams around the globe.

Today, nearly 15 years since that last very close approach, Mars is making its another similarly close approach.

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