Say goodbye to Mars! The Red Planet has been disappearing behind the sun since yesterday (17.11) for two weeks, thanks to a phenomenon that occurs every two years.
The red planet will disappear briefly this weekend as it orbits around it On the far side of the sun and out of sight For weeks. This is due to a scientific phenomenon known as solar conjunction, which is the period during which the Sun blocks Mars and Earth from each other.
“Like dancers on either side of a huge fire.”“The two planets are temporarily invisible to each other,” NASA said. NASA said that Earth and Mars witness this phenomenon every two years. Space.com reported that the distance between the two planets is on average 140 million miles, but during solar conjunction, they will be about 235 million miles apart.
This phenomenon also affects NASA’s ability to communicate and send signals to spacecraft on Mars. “He is It is impossible to predict what information may be lost due to interference NASA said: “Through charged particles coming from the sun, this missing information could put the spacecraft at risk.”
The solar conjunction with Mars is not only important to skywatchers. For more than twenty years, NASA has operated robotic rovers like the Curiosity rovers and the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars, as well as the Ingenuity helicopter over its barren, barren face, and, of course, spacecraft In orbit around the Red Planet.
Over the coming months, Mars will emerge from the broad side of the sun and will be visible for longer and longer periods in the pre-dawn sky. In about a year you will reach the opposition, so Mars will be visible most of the night above Earth.
During solar docking, mission controllers on Earth will lose contact with robotic missions to Mars. The rovers will stop, and the Ingenuity rover and spaceships will land They will not transmit data to Earth. This is to prevent the possibility of passing a partial command that interferes with the operations of the robot or spacecraft.
“NASA will stop sending commands to its Mars fleet for two weeks, from November 11 to 25, while Earth and the red planet are on opposite sides of the sun. It is called solar conjunction of Mars, This phenomenon occurs every two years. NASA said in a statement. “The missions were halted because hot, ionized gas emanating from the Sun’s corona could disrupt radio signals sent from Earth to NASA’s Mars spacecraft, leading to unpredictable behavior.”
According to In the Sky, Mars will be separated from the Sun by just less than one degree as it approaches the star. Both bodies will be in the constellation Libra. After that, the Red Planet will be invisible for several weeks It will eclipse the brightness of our star.
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