While sky watchers can easily enjoy a bright view of Mars this summer, there are also fascinating developments under its dusty surface.
Mars will be only 35.8 million miles from Earth on Monday morning, which is closest to our two planets since 1963.
The close approach means it's getting bigger and brighter every night in the night sky than usual.
As long as it is not cloudy, the best views of Mars will be after 1
"The big Internet rumor is that it would appear as big as the moon in the sky, which of course" It will never happen, "said Bartel.
It's not a moon, but Mars will be the most prominent planet Visible to the naked eye when our brighter neighbor Venus sinks earlier in the evening.
Unlike a solar eclipse or a meteor shower, it is not a show that requires much effort or concentration to be appreciated.  Mars will be brighter for the next month than Jupiter in the late evening sky.
When summer turns autumn, Mars becomes darker and farther as the earth races faster around the sun.
The "thickest of the years" Headlines are essentially split-fisted when it comes to what you see from your backyard.
Mars is usually as good every 26 months when in opposition, which means it rises for the time being when t Sun goes down and vice versa.
Far beyond the reach of telescopes, a ground radar on the European Mars Express satellite found strong evidence of liquid water beneath the surface of Mars for the first time.
Last week, European researchers announced the discovery of the 12-mile wide salty lake about 1 mile below the dust and ice of its South Pole.
Mars has frozen water in icecaps, but dissolved salt and pressure from above probably hold at least some of it
It is tantalizing news, but it would require much more research to know if this water supports life.
A NASA probe called InSight is due to arrive on the surface of Mars on November 26th.
Although it will not land above the cold, buried lake, it will have some tools that will help scientists better understand the planet's underground conditions.
Mars Meteorology is the planet that covers the dust Storm that has been turned upside down Over the past few weeks, the NASA Solar Route Opportunity has slipped into hibernation until things calm down, but there are signs that the storm has already reached its peak.
"How long does it take for the dust to arrive? It's still a bit in the air," Bartel said.
The latest weather forecast from Rover Curiosity showed a high of 11 degrees below Fahrenheit and a low of 84 below it, he said.
Neighboring Planets as Richmond Quarter
To make the planetary positions more manageable, we can imagine a Richmond-centric model
When a typical globe sits on a desk in the city's downtown lies Richmond Times-Dispatch represents the size of the earth, the sun would be a brilliant ball of 117 feet in diameter, rising above Byrd Park, about half the height of the Carillon Tower.
The concentric orbits of the rocky inner planets mainly fit into the city of Richmond, while the larger g like giants like Jupiter continue to circle to central and eastern Virginia.
Mars would be 6.8 inches tall, like a rust-colored melon.
If we were to position Mars as it would be on July 31, it would stand still
Just 1.5 km from the downtown desktop globe, our miniature Mars is near the east side of the city Leigh Street Viaducts.
If Earth and Mars are on their biggest separation, as it will be in late August 2019, then the scale model would be up to 6.35 miles.
With the sun still in Byrd Park, we would find the earth near Virginia Union University and Mars well above the James River beyond Chippenham Hospital.
The next time Earth orbits around Mars in October 2020, the two planets will not be so close.
This is because both lanes are slightly inclined and elliptical, not perfect circles in the same plane. 19659003] On our small model we would add in 2020 the distance of a soccer field to the approach compared to 2018.
It takes almost twice as long for Mars to orbit the Sun, so the next near approach would be to find our model planet in different neighborhoods as before.