“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight,” goes the saying. This weekend’s red sky is also a watcher’s delight. Mars, the red planet, will be at its closest to Earth (a cosy proximity not achieved since 2003). Also visible in this weekend’s night sky, moving from strawberry moon to blood moon, the lunar body glows rosy during a rather prolonged eclipse.
Both celestials have reason to blush, with pride:
Mars: is the subject of scientific discovery rapidly unfolding. SpaceX is planning a landing and habitation. Transport innovations like reusable rockets make a station possible. Recent discovery of a lake on Mars may hold more than promise.
Moon: July 1969, NASA’s Apollo Lunar Landing and Return, witnessed by practically everyone on earth with a new device called a television (just invented a few years before), saw the first human step on a surface that was not Earth. Humanity collectively held its breath. Since then, the sky has been busy. New industries have been born, with many new technologies from rockets to satellites. COMSAT put the world in the sky, with satnav, gps, cellphones, internet. Currently, lunar explorations include NASA’s Lunar Quest Program: the multi-element array includes flight missions, instruments for lunar missions of opportunity, research
Seeing Red This Weekend: From July 27-31, Mars will be particularly visible to the naked eye: here’s the red moon recap of July 27. Mars and Moon glowing red – at the same time? Perhaps Mars and Chang’e are blushing.
Halton, Mary. “Liquid water ‘lake’ revealed on Mars.” 25 July 2018. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44952710/
NASA, “Watch: Total Lunar Eclipse (JULY 2018) NASA TV #Longest eclipse of this century.” https://youtu.be/uqBStEIVF80.
Space.com “Chang’e 4.” https://www.space.com/40715-change-4-mission.html
Yann Charront, Robert Moss, Stephen Edwards, and Dimitri N. Mavris. “Utilization of System Dynamics to Model a Self-Sustained Mars Surface Colony.” August 31-September 2, 2015. Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License