Italian Space Agency found a large underground lake in Mars

'Opposition' to bring Mars closest to Earth Friday

As Science Alert reports, researchers have long puzzled over the mysterious source of dust on the Red Planet, with Johns Hopkins University planetary scientist Lujendra Ojha asking, "How does Mars make so much dust, because none of these processes are active on Mars?"

Generally, if Mars is closer, missions are more efficient: Probes spend less time in transit, they need less fuel and they cost less overall. In 2020, Mars and Earth will again approach one another at a distance of about 39 million miles.

Mars will be closest to Earth around 1 a.m. July 31, at 35.8 million miles away.

Tonight, the Red Planet will be in opposition, which means Mars and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of Earth.

"Since the NASA/European Space Agancy Hubble Space Telescope was launched, its goal has always been to study not only distant astronomical objects, but also the planets within our solar system", the space agencies wrote in a statement.

When Earth, Mars and Saturn are in alignment, they're said to be in opposition.

The last time these two events, a total lunar eclipse and the opposition of Mars, lined up was in the year 792.

Trump says he is willing to meet Iran's leaders without preconditions
World powers and Iran have been working on an economic package to compensate for USA sanctions that begin taking effect in August. In May, Mr Trump called the nuclear accord - or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - a "horrible, one-sided deal".

Orosei said, "It's tempting to think that this is the first candidate place where life could persist" on Mars.

Mars will also simultaneously travel near the moon in the night sky and will be easily visible to the naked eye. That's why some suggest sending more advanced spacecraft, especially more advanced landers and rover to Mars to dig deep into the target regions to confirm the existence of liquid water, and even take the sample back to earth.

"Mars being the closest right now will be the brightest", said Gary Nelson, president of the observatory.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has photographed Saturn and Mars near their closest approaches to Earth in June and July 2018. For observers, the red planet will appear the biggest since its historic position in 2003. Since Earth is closer to the sun, it orbits - making two trips around the sun in the time it takes Mars to orbit once.

"There's a meteor shower called the Perseid meteor shower and it's one of the best ones and it happens in mid-August", said Mackay.

Hubble has proven to be a workhorse during it's almost three decades in operation, while it's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is fraught with delaysand carries a hefty $9.66 billion price tag. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope.

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