Mars has actually piqued our curiosity more than any type of other planet. Even if it is we"re talking around science or science-fiction, there"s something alluring about the red world that has actually kept it in our collective imagination.

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That hasn"t abated in recent years as an ext probes and also rovers make the lengthy journey come the 4th planet native the sun. Understandably, it"s regularly hard come contextualize several of the details around the range of the universe once Mars is in the news. How large is Mars compared to Earth? How far away is Mars? The enormity of the ranges we talk around in space can be tough to imagine, even with something as fairly close and familiar as Mars.

That can even be the case when you"re stargazing and see the acquainted red glow of Mars. Maybe following time you"re city hall the red planet acquire cozy with the moon or bright brightly amongst the stars, you"ll have the ability to remember a tiny bit much more about ours celestial neighbor.

The answer to this inquiry varies rather a bit. Both planets space in orbit approximately the sun and a solitary year because that each world (one complete orbit around the sun) take away a various amount of time. A year ~ above Mars large for around 687 earth days or 669 sols (Mars days). The distance in between Mars and Earth will vary greatly depending on where each planet is in that is orbit.

At that is closest method to planet in 2020, Mars was about 38.6 million miles (62.07 million kilometers) from Earth, every NASA. That"s about the precise same street it"ll be from planet when the planets have another close approach in 2022. (Those happen around once every two years.)

AsSpace.comexplains, the the next the two planets might theoretically get is 33.9 million miles. Though, the closest we"ve seen the 2 was 34.8 million mile in august 2003. Once the planets room as much away from each other as possible, they could be as numerous as 250 million miles apart. For reference, top top average, earth is about 93 million miles away from the sun.

There room a totality lot of components at play, favor the distance and also how friend think you"re getting there. (A rocket you comprised or top top the route which NASA has actually sent rovers?) Of particular relevance, Perseverance is around to finish this trip. It take it the rover about seven months to gain from earth to Mars.

Perseverance released on July 30, 2020, and also is slated to arrive at the red world on February 18, 2021. That"s 204 days, i beg your pardon is less than the253 daysit take it curiosity to gain to Mars in 2012. Though, that"s no the fastest, either. Mariner spacecraft 6, 7, and also 9 all obtained there in 168 job or less, per

As NASA notes in the comfortable diagrams above, Mars is 4,220 miles in diameter, i m sorry pales in comparison come Earth"s 7,926 miles. To analyze that into volume—and the way we frequently compare the Earth"s size to the sun—it would take around six Mars to fill the volume of our planet.

That makes Mars the second-smallest earth in the solar system. It"s only larger than Mercury, which has actually a diameter of around 3,032 miles, every NASA.

The brief answer is that us don"t know, yet it"s no going to be soon. NASA"sArtemis regime is working on do this take place right now. Sending humans to Mars, however, is a lot larger challenge than placing a rover ~ above the Martian surface. Though, as NASA notes, "exploration the the moon and also Mars is intertwined."

The Artemis program intends to send the an initial woman and also next man—a phrase frequently used by NASA—to the lunar surface by 2024. That"s not Mars, however it is the first step in the "moon to Mars" mission. The firm wants to develop "sustainable exploration by the end of the decade," utilizing what it learns in the procedure to make the press toward obtaining astronauts ~ above Mars.

The existing Artemis program arrangement is sprawling. That involves creating a "permanent human presence" ~ above the moon and also laying "the foundation for personal companies to build a lunar economy," according to NASA. So, there"s no answer, however the very first steps are being taken. Expedition of the moon in the Artemis regimen will look at the tools that can be used to obtain to Mars favor habitats, life assistance systems, and also "technologies and practices that could aid us build self-sustaining outposts" on another planet. In fact, that process has currently started. The Perseverance rover is transporting potential spacesuit product for astronauts that make the journey in order to check its resilience in the Martian atmosphere.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here room all the finest stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you might stay in a currently the northern lights from home. If you"re just obtaining started, inspect out ourguide to astronomy because that beginners, the finest meteor showers of 2021, or easy stargazing road trips from large US cities.

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