Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

NASA Captures Mars in a Very Photogenic Mood

Science

In most cases, a distance of 75.3 million kilometers (46.8 million miles) isn't considered close. But when it comes to Mars and Earth, it is.

Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years on May 30.

Photo credit: NASA Hubble Space Telescope

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) explained why this will happen:

This phenomenon is a result of the difference in orbital periods between Earth's orbit and Mars' orbit. While Earth takes the familiar 365 days to travel once around the sun, Mars takes 687 Earth days to make its trip around our star. As a result, Earth makes almost two full orbits in the time it takes Mars to make just one, resulting in the occurrence of Martian oppositions about every 26 months.

But that's not the only Mars-related event scientists are celebrating. On May 22, Mars opposition occurred. Opposition is when Mars, Earth and the sun align so that the sun and Mars are directly on opposite sides of Earth, according to NASA. Every 15 to 17 years, opposition occurs around the same time Mars is at its closest to the sun. This is what is happening this year.

Mars is in a very photogenic mood due to these two events. Scientists have captured images of the clouds in the planet's atmosphere with the NASA Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope's images showed details on the planet that are as small as 20 to 30 miles across.

The shortest distance between Mars and Earth occurred in 2003. The two planets were the closest they had been in 60,000 years, according to NASA.

NASA labeled different aspects of Mars in this image:

Photo credit: NASA Hubble Space Telescope

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Scientists Uncover Array of Strange Animals in Cave That Has Been Sealed Off for 5.5 Million Years

Explore the Deep Sea With NOAA

NOAA Scientist Creates New Way to Track Carbon Pollution

NASA: Melting Ice Sheets Is Changing How the Earth Rotates

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable meeting with energy sector CEOs in the Cabinet Room of the White House April 3 in Washington, DC. Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

An Important Note

No supplement, diet, or lifestyle modification — aside from social distancing and practicing proper hygiene ⁠— can protect you from developing COVID-19.

The strategies outlined below may boost your immune health, but they don't protect specifically against COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less
Jörg Carstensen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.

Read More Show Less