(MENAFN – NewsIn.Asia) October 7 (Space) – Look up! Mars is at its closest to Earth until 2035 today (Oct. 6), making it a perfect time to see the Red Planet with your own eyes.
Today at 10:18 a.m. EDT (1418 GMT), Mars swoops within 38,568,816 miles (62,070,493 kilometers) of Earth, making a smooth close approach. This will be the closest the Red Planet will come to Earth for the next15 years, or until September 2035, according to Earthsky.org.
The planet is visible high in the eastern sky . It appears as a stunning reddish light, weather permitting.
“October is a great time for viewing Mars, as the planet is visible all night right now, and reaches its highest point in the sky around midnight,” NASA wrote in a skywatching guide.
Earth and Mars travel around the sun in elliptical orbits, orbiting in the same direction but at different speeds and at different distances from our star. Every 780 days, or about every two years, Mars and Earth line up and are the closest to each other during this time period. Today, the pair of planets will make this close approach.
This close approach comes shortly before Mars’ opposition, which is when Earth comes between the sun and Mars and they all line up, on Oct. 13. Now, it might seem as though the closest approach should be when the planets are lined up in opposition, but it is not because they have elliptical orbits.
“If both the Earth and Mars circled the sun in perfect circles, and on the same exact plane, the distance between Earth and Mars would always be least on the day of Mars’ opposition. But we don’t live in such a symmetrical universe,” according to Earthsky.org.
The last close approach between the planets in 2018 was even closer than this one, but in 2003, the pair made a historic approach. In 2003, Mars came closer to Earth than it had in about 60,000 years, 34.65 million miles (55.76 million km), according to Earthsky.org. The Red Planet won’t come closer than this until Aug. 28, 2287 when it will be 34.60 million miles (55.69 million km) from Earth, according to Earthsky.org.
While skywatching hoaxes continue to live on on the internet, do note that, while Mars will be especially close today, it will not be as big (or even “nearly as big”) as the moon in the sky. While Mars will shine extra bright this October, its close approach isn’t even remotely close enough to appear as large as the moon. In fact, there is ever an occasion where Mars looks as big as the moon in the sky.
Earth Mars Space
Ah Crap: The Arctic Is Releasing a Ton of New Greenhouse Gas – Futurism
Figuring out when, and to what extent, the Arctic will melt and release greenhouse gases into the air has been a major challenge for environmental scientists. Now it seems like the process is already underway.
A team of Russian and Swedish scientists exploring the Arctic Ocean found that the continental slope near Siberia has already started to give off huge amounts of methane, which is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, The Guardian reports. The methane, which is leaking into the ocean and the air, is a worrying new data point about the state of the climate.
The scientists, who haven’t yet finished analyzing their data or sent it for review by an academic journal, stressed to The Guardian that they’re still at a very preliminary stage of their research. But their discovery is still ominous. If the Arctic is releasing carbon in mass quantities, it could trigger a feedback loop that worsens climate change and continues to give off even more greenhouse gases.
“At this moment, there is unlikely to be any major impact on global warming, but the point is that this process has now been triggered,” Örjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University told The Guardian. “This East Siberian slope methane hydrate system has been perturbed and the process will be ongoing.”
It will be hard to tell what impact these Arctic greenhouse gases will have on the global environment — but the consensus among experts is that it could be disastrous.
“This is a new page,” Igor Semiletov of the Russian Academy of Sciences told The Guardian. “Potentially they can have serious climate consequences, but we need more study before we can confirm that.”
READ MORE: ‘Sleeping giant’ Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find [The Guardian]
More on the Arctic: This is the Devastating Potential of the Arctic Permafrost Melting
SOFIA: a telescope on the forefront of astrophysics research – NASASpaceflight.com
Rare Full Moon Expected on Halloween Night – AM800 (iHeartRadio)
Halloween may seem extra spooky this year thanks to a full moon.
It’ll be visible in every time zone on Saturday, something that hasn’t happened since 1944.
It’s also known as a “blue” moon, even though the color won’t change.
Scientists use the term to describe the second full moon of the month.
A full moon on Halloween won’t happen again until 2039.
With files from MetroSource and CTV News
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