Thursday 27 July 2017

Mars reaches Solar Conjunction.

The planet Uranus will reached Solar Conjunction (i.e. be directly on the other side of the Sun from the Earth) on Thursday 27 July 2017. This means that it will both be at its furthest from the Earth this year, about 2.5 AU (2.5 times the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, or about 374 000 000 km), and completely obscured by the Sun. 

The relative positions of Uranus, the Sun and Earth at Solar Conjunction. NASA.

Mars orbits the Sun at an average distance of 1.5 AU, completing one orbit around the Sun every 1.88 years. The planet is now home to numerous man-made instruments, all of which receive regular instructions from Earth. The two planets reach Solar Conjunction roughly once every two years, during which time all of these instruments are cut off from Earth for two weeks, with the majority simply being shut down.

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