A rare astronomical phenomenon that will not recur until 2038 that the world is witnessing today – Al-Manar Channel Website – Lebanon


Today, Wednesday, on March 3, 2021, the skies of the Arab countries will witness the fall of Mars near the Pleiades cluster, where they will be separated by 2.6 degrees, which is their closest conjunction in 30 years.

This astronomical phenomenon will not be repeated at the same apparent distance until February 4, 2038.

The head of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah, Engineer Majed Abu Zahra, explained that it would be easy to see Mars with the naked eye despite its dimness compared to the past four months, but there is a need to use binoculars or imaging to see the stars of the Pleiades, which is a star cluster near the red planet from inside Cities, according to the statement of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah on its Facebook page.

The conjunction of Mars and the Pleiades cluster can be observed by binoculars, and through it, Mars and the Pleiades will appear in the same field of view, in addition to that, 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, according to the statement.

The statement indicated that the pairing will be attractive for astrophotography, as Mars and the Thuraya cluster are bright enough to be photographed by smartphones and digital cameras, and through a 200 mm focal length lens with a digital camera with a “APS-C” sensor, photography will be good.

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 Aldebaran, while Mars will be below it and much closer to the Pleiades cluster, according to Statement.

It will be noticed in early March 2021 that the star of Aldebaran is brighter than Mars to the naked eye, as Mars diminishes every day, which means that it is fainter than Aldebaran by the time it will pass 7 degrees north of Aldebaran on March 20, 2021, and by April 24 / April 2021 Mars will be fainter when it emerges from the constellation Taurus and enters the constellation of the Twins, according to the statement.

Mars is the fourth planet in terms of distance from the sun, and it takes about two years of Earth’s years to make a full circle in front of the constellations in the zodiac, so Mars and Pleiades usually meet every two years, according to the statement.

However, as an exception, the next Mars-Pleiades coupling will happen next year instead of the following year on August 20, 2022. Because Wednesday’s conjunction occurs early this year, in addition, no retrograde motion of Mars will occur between 2021. And 2022, and after 2022, the Mars and Pleiades conjunctions will happen every two years until March 14, 2036.

The statement continued: “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 could pass near the Pleiades as it moves forward east in front of the stars in the zodiac circle, then back to the west in front of the stars in the zodiac, and then come back and move east again, and this happened in 1990-1991, and it will be repeated again in 2037- 2038.

Source: CNN


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