PLANET MARS CLOSEST TO EARTH ON 6th OCT 2020
at 62.02 million km – Spot Mars without use of Telescopes/Binocular
ఆకాశంలో నిత్యం ఎన్నో ఖగోళ సంఘటనలు జరుగుతూనే ఉంటాయి. మనం ప్రతిరోజూ సాయంత్రం వేళ ఇంట్లో నుంచి ఆకాశంవైపు చూసినప్పుడు మనకు కోట్లాది నక్షత్రాలు కనిపిస్తాయి. ఆ నక్షత్రాల్లో గ్రహాలు కూడా ఉంటాయని తెలుసు. కాకపోతే ఆ గ్రహాలను ఎలా గుర్తించాలో తెలియక పోవడం వల్ల వాటిని మనం చూడలేకపోతున్నాం. అయితే అక్టోబర్ 6, 2020 భూమికి సమీపంలో అంగారక గ్రహం (కుజగ్రహం) రాబోతుంది. అవి ఎలా చూడాలో ఇందులో తెలుసుకుందాం.
On 6th Oct 2020 at 7.47 p.m. Planet Mars will be closest it can get to Earth. In other words Planet Mars in its journey around Sun will reach a point in its orbit which is closest it can get to earth. On 6th Oct 2020 Mars will be at Distance of 0.415 AU i.e 6,20,83,116 km (62.02 Million Km) to earth. Thus Planet Mars in the Month of October is Closest, Brightest and Biggest (from telescope).
Why Mars is Closest every 26 months?
This closest approach of Mars is due to a celestial phenomenon called “Mars Opposition to Sun” which occurs once in every 26 months. On 14 Oct 2020 at 4.56 a.m. IST Mars will be at Opposition to Sun because of which Planet Mars will be Closest it can get to earth in next 13 years.
What is the Phenomenon of Mars Opposition?
Like all the planets in our solar system, Earth and Mars orbit the sun. However Earth being closer to the sun, races along its orbit more quickly than Mars, Jupiter etc…. Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip. So sometimes the two planets are on opposite sides of the sun, very far apart, and other times, so Earth eventually catches and overtake Mars.
So when Mars and the Sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth it is called “Mars Opposition to Sun” because of which Planet mars will be closer to earth and visible all through the night. Mars oppositions happen about every 26 months.
What is the Importance of Mars Opposition/Closest Approach to Science? How this phenomenon helps space agencies like ISRO, NASA to Send “Mission to Mars”?
When a Space agency plans to send a Mission to Mars it will do so when this planet is closer to Earth. Its fact that once in every 26 months celestial phenomena of “Mars Opposition” occurs due to which Mars gets closer to earth thus giving excellent opportunity to launch mission to Mars and reach it in shorter distance.
ISRO Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) i.e. Mangalyaan was launched on 5 November 2013 keeping in view the Mars Opposition event of year 2014. Taking benefit of Mars Opposition event of 2020 NASA launched “Mars 2020 Rover” mission on 30th July 2020. Which is expected to Land on Mars on 18th Feb 2021.
What exactly will happen on 14 October 2020? Is it true Sun, Earth and Mars will be in a Straight line from our perspective on Earth?
Due to this celestial phenomenon of opposition Mars and Sun will be Opposite to Each other and in a straight line from our perspective on earth. Whenever a planet is at Opposition it would be closest in its orbit to earth than any other time. Hence this year Mars will appear Closest, brightest, biggest (from Telescope).
What difference “Mars Opposition” make for an observer on Earth? How it would be different in any other time?
On 14th Oct, 2020 Celestial Phenomena of “Planet Mars Opposition to Sun” will occur. Due to opposition Mars now can be seen all through night. If one can see, he/she would notice as Sun Sets in the West Mars will rise in the East. As Sunrises in the East Mars Sets in West. Further Planet Mars will be fully illuminated by the sun and appears disk-like.
The Last time “Opposition of Mars” occurred on 27th July 2018 and next time Mars will be at Opposition to earth is on 8th Dec, 2022.
How close Planet Mars would be to Earth on 6th Oct 2020? When again Mars will be this Close to Earth?
On 6th Oct 2020 at 7.47 p.m. Planet Mars is placed at 0.415 AU i.e. 62.02 million km. Generally the Minimum Distance from Mars to Earth is 55.7 Million km whereas Maximum Distance Planet Mars can be away from Earth is 401.3 Million Km. So considering the Closest/Farthest distance of Mars can get to earth. October 2020 is one of the best opportunity for people to see and appreciate Mars. It will take another 13 Years for Mars to match 2020 closeness to earth i.e. in June 2033.
How can we spot Planet Mars in the Sky ? Do we require telescopes/Binocular?
General Public without aid of Binocular/Telescopes can spot Planet Mars in the sky after Sunset for many weeks to come. In the evening Half hour after Sunset looking towards the sky opposite direction to sunset, one can spot Planet mars in East direction. Whereas at midnight one can see it above his head while in the morning before Sunrise it can be spotted in West Direction.
We can spot planets with naked eye. However Telescopes and Binoculars are needed only when someone wants to see finer features of the planets.
Till when Planet Mars can be spotted ? How long it will remain bright, big for observation?
Planet Mars can be spotted in the Sky till end of year but with more appreciable brightness till End of Oct 2020. Because as days pass by the distance increases so the brightness and size for observation purpose decreases (see the Table).
How Planet Mars will appear to naked eyes?
Planet Mars will appear like Orangish Red Non-Twinkling Bright object in the sky when seen by naked eye. These days it is visible prominently in East Direction after Sunset and in West direction during early morning hours before Sunrise.
Where can we get more Details and Assistance for observing Planet Mars ?
General public can connect with us for assistance with maps, videos etc.. on Whatsapp Only Phone. 7993482012 or at www.twitter.com/infopsi or www.ournewplanets.info
Kindly give details about Planetary Society of India ?
Planetary Society of India is one among few organisations working for promotion of Astronomy, Space Sciences in India consistently. It was established in 2003 on 17 Oct . Next month we will celebrate 18 years. Students of the organisation have been part of various outreach activities of NASA & other space agencies since year 2002. N.Sri Raghunandan Kumar is founder secretary and Director of Planetary Society, India he is prominently visible as Panelist on various Television channel discussions whenever there is Celestial event like Eclipse, Satellite launch mission of ISRO or when major breakthrough events in the field of Space Science and technology are reported from across the world.
Simple Google search or YouTube in our Organisation name or N. Sri Raghunandan Kumar author of this article will lead to large number of articles published in various newspapers and television channels across country in last 15 years.
– N. SRI RAGHUNANDAN KUMAR
Director and Founder Secretary
PLANETARY SOCIETY, INDIA
(Reg. Under A.P. Societies Registration Act, 2001)
Ph: 7993482012. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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