An amazing astronomical phenomenon awaits those fond of astronomy, on March 3, when the planet Mars is coupled with the star cluster Pleiades, or the Pleiades (Seven Sisters), found in Taurus.
The phenomenon that will not be repeated again until February 4, 2038, occurs when the planet Mars approaches the Pleiades star cluster when separated by 2.6 degrees, which is the closest conjunction of the two celestial bodies in 30 years.
The former head of the astronomy department at the Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research, Ashraf Tadros, explains behind the unique phenomenon, and says, “This conjunction can be seen with the naked eye of the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere, when night enters at approximately 7 pm until the sunset of these two celestial bodies at 11:30 pm.” .
Tadros added to “Sky News Arabia”, that this scene can be seen on the days from 2 to 6 March, but the real conjunction will be on March 3, as Mars will be as close as possible to the Pleiades, or let us say that the angle between them is as little as 2.6 degrees.
The astronomy professor explains that the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters is an open star cluster located in the constellation Taurus, and it is one of the brightest and most famous constellations in the sky that can be seen with the naked eye.
And he continues, this crowd consists of young stars whose color tends to be blue as a sign of youth and young age, and there are seven stars in this crowd that are its brightest and they are the reason for the name, pointing out that this crowd is about 444 light-years away from Earth and its age is in the range of 100 to 150 one million years.
Ashraf Tadros analyzes the phenomenon of conjugation, describing it as the apparent approach of two celestial bodies from each other when looking at them from the Earth, that is, when the angular distance between them is the least possible, as for the truth, it is a very large linear distance between them, estimated at hundreds of light years or thousands of millions of kilometers.
And he adds, “When the angular conjunction we see the planet Mars and its pleiades behind it, as if they meet in the sky, and there are dozens of conjugations that occur in the year between the moon and the planets, stars and stellar clusters, etc., so the apparent proximity of any of them to the other is called conjunction.
Regarding the methods of observing the phenomenon, Tadros says that the conjugations can be monitored and photographed through special telescopes and cameras to calculate some parameters that are useful in some astronomical studies, and amateur astronomers and those interested in observing the sky like to follow such conjunctions to see it with the naked eye or monitor it and photograph it with telescopes or magnifying glasses.
And the astronomy professor concluded his interview with “Sky News Arabia”, explaining how to determine the dates for the associations; He says, for each pair of conjugations a date for its occurrence, and a number for its repetition, all these dates are listed in tables and have their own astronomical calculations by the minute.