Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Curiosity Rover showed pictures of sandstorms on Mars

An illustration of Mars against the blackness of space An illustration of Mars against the blackness of space
Theresa Hayes | 21 June, 2018, 19:00

The event, known as Mars Close Approach, is thanks to Mars' and Earth's orbits around the Sun, which on July 31 will line up so that the Red Planet is 35.8 million away, according to NASA.

Mars will make its closest swing toward Earth, bringing it closer and appearing brighter, than it has in the past 15 years.

"Since Mars and the sun appear on opposite sides of the sky, we say that Mars is in 'opposition, '" NASA said on its website.

The orbit of the Mars is said to be elliptical than Earth's, and there is a huge difference between the perihelion and aphelion.

While it's going to be approaching for the next few weeks and will provide ample opportunities to stargaze (or technically "planet-gaze"), it's going to be at its very closest during the early morning of July 31, 2018, according to The Weather Channel.

Mars will be in perihelic opposition and stargazers will get a good view of the red planet.

During opposition, Mars is especially photogenic because it can be seen fully illuminated by the Sun as viewed from Earth.

As regarding the dust storm on Mars, "the storm is one of the most intense ever observed on the Red Planet, (...) it covered more than 41 million square kilometers, about the area of North America and Russian Federation combined", declared NASA.

Mars won't be this close again until September 15, 2035.

Mars will be easily visible to the naked eye throughout July, outshining all but the brightest stars as it gets to its closest point.

In case you're wondering how a robot without a selfie stick can do this, it's actually been assembled by visual artist Sean Doran, from 100 separate NASA shots. It'll be much brighter than any star, brighter than Jupiter, almost as bright as Venus. This storm managed to cover 10 billion acres of the surface of Mars, which is one quarter of the planet.

The most massive dust storm on Mars ever observed to date, the same on which took out the NASA's Opportunity Rover, is now moving towards the side of the planet where the other Mars rover, NASA's Curiosity Rover, is studying the Red Planet.

In the days before the close approach, Mars will be its brightest between July 27 and 30 when the planet is in opposition with the sun. When they're at opposite ends of their orbits, the two planets can be impossibly far apart.

Why The Minimum Distance Between Mars And Earth Keeps Changing?

"And you'll see it every night for the next several months".