Moon and Mars: double celestial event coming up this month

Moon and Mars: double celestial event coming up this month

With Mars nearer than it has been in 15 years, virtually double the brilliance of Jupiter by way of the bare eye, and the longest whole lunar eclipse of the century, area fanatics can tune into the skies for a double celestial delight this month.

On the intervening evening of July 27-28, the Moon can be completely eclipsed for one hour, 43 minutes. The event will be noticed in a big a part of the globe, together with in India, the place it may be seen after 11.54 pm Indian Standard Time on July 27.

According to Dr Debiprosad Duari, director, Research & Academic, MP Birla Institute of Fundamental Research, it is going to be the longest whole lunar eclipse of the century.

Four days later, one other spectacular celestial event will enthrall hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the world, Duari mentioned.

On July 31, Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun, can be 57.6 million kilometres from Earth, the closest it has been since 2003 when it got here inside 55.7 million kilometres, which was the closest in virtually 60,000 years.

“The Red Planet will be at its brightest since 2003, when Mars made its closest approach to Earth in almost 60,000 years since September, 24, 57617 BC,” Duari advised PTI.

Mars can be seen within the evening sky after sundown until dawn from all over the place in India, offered the monsoon clouds do not play spoilsport.

Explaining the celestial phenomenon, the astro physicist mentioned the orbital period will increase as the space of a planet from the Sun will increase. That is why Earth takes slightly greater than 365 days to go around the Sun and Mars takes 687 days.

“Due to the difference of the orbital speed and orbital period, in every 26 months or so, Earth passes between Mars and the Sun, bringing Mars and the Sun on exactly opposite sides of it. This is called Mars at the opposition,” Duari mentioned.

This 12 months, Mars can be at its opposition on July 27, solely 51 days earlier than it passes by way of its perihelion — its closest level relative to the Sun in its orbit.

“Since it will be quite close to Earth by that time, it will appear very bright and will be visible roughly after sunset and will remain in the sky till sunrise. The Red Planet will shine very prominently in our night sky… it will be easier to see it clearly with telescopes or even with the naked eye,” Duari mentioned.

Mars comes shut sufficient for these distinctive viewing events solely a couple of times each 15 or 17 years, he added.

“The next opposition of Mars, when it will look relatively brighter and bigger than the average, will be on October 6, 2020. But it will be a little further away, around 61.76 million kilometres from Earth and will be looking relatively smaller and less bright than on July 31, 2018.”

The subsequent closest strategy, although not as shut as 2003, is not going to be till 2035.

“It will come closer to Earth than it was on 2003 only on 2287 (August 29) when possibly there will be nobody alive present on Earth to witness it,” Duari mentioned.

Referring to the 2003 Internet hoax that Mars can be as huge because the Moon when it got here closest to Earth, Duari mentioned the hearsay has surfaced yearly in August since then.

“But we should observe that at its closest strategy this 12 months, Mars can be solely 24.three arc.

Seconds throughout and nowhere near the scale of the Moon, which is 75 instances larger in diameter because it seems,” he said.

It is protected to observe the celestial event by way of the bare eye. Those hoping to see it extra element can use a telescope with four-inch diameter and above.

The South Polar area and the ice caps on it is going to be properly seen from Earth by way of a average measurement telescope, Duari mentioned.

“Just after the sunset one should look close to the east-south eastern horizon to view this bright planet, appearing 1.8 times brighter than Jupiter,” he mentioned.

He additionally expressed the hope that a big mud storm engulfing Mars, noticed by astronomers, will subside by July 31 and the Red Planet will be seen at its closest strategy in its full glory.

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