Mars' next close approach is October 6, 2020.
The Red Planet will be just 35.8 million miles away from humanity's homeworld next Tuesday.
"In this case it's going to appear about five times brighter than usual", added Kelly.
From 8 to 11 p.m. Friday, the public can view Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and the moon at the MTSU Observatory to witness the start of Mars' closest approach to Earth since 2003, organizers said.
In 2003, Mars and Earth were at their closest in almost 60,000 years, coming within 34.6 million miles of each other.
"An opposition can occur anywhere along Mars" orbit.
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The Red Planet has been shining bright throughout the month of July at night.
When those high-speed incoming atoms hit the Martian atmosphere, some of their energy was emitted as ultraviolet light, which is invisible to the human eye but detectable to instruments like IUVS.
Derek Demeter, the astronomy director at Seminole State College's planetarium, said the sight will be particularly spectacular through telescopes Friday because Mars will also be close to the moon around the time of the event. Mars Close Approach is exactly what it seems: the point in Mars' orbit around the sun when it comes closest to Earth.
That same day, parts of the world will see a total lunar eclipse called a blood moon, which could make the lunar surface look like it's been stained red.
However, there is a global dust storm obscuring the red planet that could continue through August and into September. "Not quite as bright as Venus, but still because of the reddish, orange-ish-red color, you really can't miss it in the sky".
Rain and thunderstorms will also lead to poor viewing conditions across a swath of the central U.S. The planets aren't expected to be that close again until 2287, according to NASA. North America is the only continent on Earth from which the eclipse will not be visible.
The Mars opposition falls just before the longest total lunar eclipse of the century, which will last 1 hour and 43 minutes.