<img class = "pure-img lazy" big-src = "https://img.purch.com/h/1400/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3OC8xMzAvb3JpZ2luYWwvbWFycy1jbG9zZS1hcHByb2FjaC0zMWp1bHkyMDE4LXN0YXJyeS1uaWdodC5KUEc/MTUzMjk4NDM3MQ==" src = "https://img.purch.com / w / 640 / aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3OC8xMzAvaTAyL21hcnMtY2xvc2UtYXBwcm9hY2gtMzFqdWx5MjAxOC1zdGFycnktbmlnaHQuSlBHPzE1MzI5ODQzNzE = "alt =" Mars will shine before sunrise in the sky of the Southwest on 31 July 2018 when in 2003 closest to the earth. This Starry night card shows where, after 4 am local time Mars can be seen.  Mars will shine in the sky of the Southwest before dawn on July 31, 2018, when it has been closest to Earth since 2003. This starry night chart shows where to look for Mars at 4 o'clock local time  Credit: Starry Night Software
The Griffith Observatory is well positioned to host the Mars show.
"By a celestial By coincidence, Mars will simultaneously be in its best position to pass through a Los Angeles telescope as it crosses the meridian and appears highest in the southern sky, "observatory officials wrote in a statement.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can also attend the Griffith event for free. The observatory will be open to the public, and small telescopes will be available for Mars observation. (These areas will be on the lawn, the observatory itself will be closed.)
The closest approach occurs at 3:45 am EDT (0745 GMT) when Mars and Earth are only 35.8 million miles apart be removed (57.6 million kilometers). The two planets have not rammed so hard since August 2003 when they spun within 34.6 million miles (55.7 million km) of each other.
This 2003 encounter was really special – the next between the neighboring planets in about 60,000 years. In fact, within a cosmic hair, it came to the minimum Mars-Earth distance, which is 54.6 million kilometers (33.9 million miles). (The maximum separation of the two planets is about 249 million miles, or 401 million kilometers, and the average distance between them is 140 million miles or 225 million kilometers.)
Tomorrow approaching on the heels of Mars approaches "opposition." This milestone – when Mars, the Earth, and the Sun aligned with our planet in the middle – occurred on Friday (July 27).
Mars was noticeably brighter in our sky for a while than usual as it got closer to Earth. But the red planet is not nearly as big or as bright as the moon. So do not fall for this dizziness that keeps cropping up in spite of persistent debunking efforts.
Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.