Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Mars will be big and bright over the next several days

Mars will be big and bright over the next several days

It's now summertime in Saturn's northern hemisphere and springtime in Mars' southern hemisphere.

The increase in sunlight in Saturn's northern hemisphere has heated the atmosphere to trigger a large storm that is now disintegrating in Saturn's polar region. "So when the sun goes down, the planet comes up, and it's available to see all night long".

Friday, July 27, 2018 is when Mars moves into opposition. This is an ideal time to send missions toward Mars - be they robots or future crews of astronauts. Because of the close proximity, the planet also appears brightest in the sky. The closest it can possibly get to Earth is 33.9 million miles, and it's usually about 140 million miles away. Since Earth is closer to the sun, it orbits - making two trips around the sun in the time it takes Mars to orbit once. The last time Mars was this close to Earth in 2003, almost 400 visitors came to Calvin to get a closer look. This is the point in which Earth is sandwiched directly in the middle of the sun and Mars.

While the current dust storm is making it hard for some Martian rovers to recharge their batteries, every dust storm offers scientists a chance to better understand the dynamics of Mars' atmosphere. A dust storm is ravaging the planet. In addition to a long-distance perspective, Hubble also offers a long-term perspective.

Both have been under the watchful eye of the Hubble Space Telescope. This is when observers will have their closest view of the red planet since 2003. The group will also have meteorite samples from Mars and the moon for people to touch.

Trump says he is willing to meet with Iranian leaders
Secretary Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, in contrast, seem more interested in forcing Iran to capitulate. Other officials said that such a meeting would be a " humiliation ". "There's nothing wrong in meeting".

"The distance between the Earth and Mars is shorter than it normally would be", said Mackay. "It's approaching its perihelion - the closest point in its orbit to the sun". Geologic evidence suggests that the south polar layered deposits covered an area approximately twice as large 3 billion years ago as they do today; thus, there was much more ice to melt. This happens once about every 26 months.

Mackay said that Mars is visible even without a telescope. During opposition, as NASA explains it, Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth.

For those of you disappointed that you won't be able to see the lunar eclipse, you will still have something to look at in the night sky.

Praising the bipartisan support for NASA he sees among lawmakers, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican who heads the Senate subcommittee on space, said he hopes Congress's next NASA funding bill will lay out a longer term vision, rather than going year to year.

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