Griffith Observatory provides a rare opportunity for the public to see the planet Mars at its closest to Earth for the next 17 years. Telescopes are available on the lawn for free public viewing.
On July 30, Earth and Mars will be 35.8 million miles from each other, the closest that they have been since the historic 34.6 million-mile close approach in August, 2003. By a celestial coincidence, at the same time, Mars will be at its very best position for viewing through a telescope from Los Angeles, as it crosses the meridian and appears highest in the southern sky. The next similar close approach won’t happen until September 11, 2035, when Mars will be 35.4 million miles away.
NOTE: Unlike an eclipse, Mars will not change in appearance during the course of the evening
The event at Griffith Observatory goes from Monday, July 30 at 10pm to Tuesday July 31 at 2am. During this time the Griffith Observatory grounds open but the building is closed. The Café at the End of the Universe and the Stellar Emporium will have carts outside from 10pm until 1am.
Can't make it to Griffith Park? The Observatory is live broadcasting in real time on Griffith Observatory's LiveStream page.