Mars and Earth currently face each other at a distance of about 35.8 million miles – the closest they have been since 2003.
The approach comes after the July 27 Mars opposition when the Red Planet lined up with the Earth and the Sun in space.
Over the next few weeks, Mars will appear to outshine nearby stars at night, glowing with an intense red glow, until it dims by early September.
With both planets firmly in the spotlight, how exactly do they compare in size?
The planets might appear to be distant cousins, with Mars believed to once be abundant in running water and organic material.
But the planets are very different in many aspects, such as their geology, diameter and orbit.
So is Mars bigger than Earth?
No, the Red Planet is actually is just slightly more than half the size of the Earth.
Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, is the second smallest planet in our solar system, right behind the icy world of Mercury.
Mars’ diameter measures roughly about 4,219.11 miles (6,790km) which is more than half of Earth diameter of 7,922.48 miles (12,750 km)
Because the Red Planet completes one rotation around its axis every 24.6 hours, the planet bulges around the equator in a similar fashion to Earth.
Further up towards the planet’s poles, Mars’ diameter measures about 4,196 miles (6,752 km).
Mars’ circumference around the equator measures around about 13,300 miles (21,343 km) but is shorter at the poles, where it only measures 13,200 miles (21,244 km).
But the differences do not stop there.
Almost 70 percent of the surface of Earth is covered in water in contrast to Mars, which is a barren and dusty landscape.
The only liquid seen on Mars appears in ice-form around the north and south poles although scientists suspect liquid water my run beneath the southern icecaps.
There is also a substantial weight difference between the two planets.
Mars’ mass is around 642,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg or 6.42 x 10^23kg.
The Earth’s mass is a much larger 5.972 × 10^24 or 5,972,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.
When compared to the Earth, the gravitational force of attraction on Mars is only about 38 percent of that on Earth.
In practice, this means a 100kg person on Earth would only weight 38 kg on Mars.