The closest conjunction between Mars and Pleiades in 30 years – Fracture Online

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That was explained by the engineer. Majid Abu Zahra
The sky of the Arab world, after sunset on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, and the beginning of the night, will witness the occurrence of Mars near the Pleiades star cluster, where they will be separated by 2.6 degrees, which is their closest conjunction since January 20, 1991.

It will be easy to see the planet Mars with the naked eye, despite its dimness compared to the last four months, but there is a need to use binoculars or photography to see the Pleiades star cluster near the red planet from within cities.

Mars is currently observed in the western horizon in the constellation Taurus near the red star Aldebaran, and it is easy to distinguish between them despite the relative similarity in color and brightness. The upper red point (for the observer) is the star of Aldebaran, while Mars will be below it and much closer to a cluster chandelier.

Among the most notable differences is that Aldebaran shines on itself while Mars reflects sunlight. In addition, Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster are “fixed” points of light in the constellation Taurus, but Mars is only a temporary visitor.

Early March 2021 will notice that the star of Aldebaran is brighter than Mars to the naked eye, as Mars is diminishing every day, which means it is fainter than Aldebaran by the time it will pass 7 degrees north of Aldebaran on March 20, 2021, and by April 24, 2021 Mars will be fainter when It leaves the constellation Taurus and enters the constellation Twins.

Mars is the fourth planet in terms of distance from the sun and it takes about two years of Earth years to make a full circle in front of the stellar constellations in the zodiac, so Mars usually meets the Pleiades every two years, however, as an exception, the next conjunction of Mars with the Pleiades will happen next year ( Instead of the year after) on August 20, 2022.

This is because the conjunction of Wednesday occurs early this year, and in addition, there will be no retrograde motion of Mars between 2021 and 2022 and the conjunction of Mars and Pleiades, and after 2022, the conjunctions of Mars and Pleiades will occur every two years until March 14, 2036.

It happens in rare cases that Mars has three associations with the Pleiades in a period of about 4.7 months, and for this to happen, Mars must reach the encounter at a critical time, so that Mars can pass near the Pleiades as it moves forward (east in front of the stars in the zodiac. ), Then backward (towards the west in front of the stars in the zodiac), and then back and moving (east) again, and this happened in 1991-1990 and will be repeated again in 2038-2037.

To observe the conjunction of Mars and the Pleiades cluster, the binoculars will be ideal, through which Mars and the Pleiades will appear in the same field of view. In addition, the large size of the Pleiades is suitable for binoculars that reveal many faint stars associated with the star cluster and contain them all in one view.

The pairing will also be attractive for astrophotography as Mars and the Pleiades cluster are bright enough to be photographed with smartphones and digital cameras, with a 200mm focal length lens with an APS-C digital sensor camera, photography is good.

It is worth noting that the conjunction of Mars and Pleiades this year will not repeat at the same apparent distance again until February 4, 2038.

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