Mars disappears Thursday behind the “cold December moon”

It will be much closer to Earth than it will be again until 2033

During the coming days of this December, fans of following astronomical phenomena will enjoy the best view of Mars, when it reaches the closest distance to Earth, which will not be achieved before 2033.

Astronomical calculations of the National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research in Egypt indicate that the planet Mars will, on December 8, meet with the sun and the Earth, when it will reach the closest point to Earth (less than 80 million km), and in the evening there will be an additional scene, when The last full moon in 2022, which is the full moon of December, which is called the “cold moon”, moves in front of Mars, so that the planet disappears behind it, in a phenomenon called “occultation”.

And the “cold moon” is the name given in North America to the full moon of December. Because it’s the time of year when the cold air causes the temperature to drop.

Ashraf Shaker, head of the astronomy department at the National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysical Research, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “The time of the occultation phenomenon varies according to the location, and it will be about an hour long, after which the planet appears, and this will be a unique opportunity for fans of following astronomical phenomena, where they can then capture Pictures of the red disk of Mars next to the surface of the moon.

Shaker adds, “Such phenomena are not very useful in astronomical research, but announcing them is an opportunity to create astronomical awareness among the public on the one hand, and it is also desirable for those interested in documenting these events through photographs, especially when they are associated with a planet, not It still raises a lot of questions.”

The planet, half the size of Earth, has a thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide, summer temperatures of a maximum of 20 degrees Celsius, and winters at the poles of minus 130 degrees Celsius.

Despite these conditions, Mars continues to fascinate astronomers and planetary scientists, who see it as one of the places in the solar system where life may have originated, and may still exist.

More than one astronomical observatory around the world announced the opportunity for fans of following astronomical phenomena to follow a live broadcast of the phenomenon of the occultation of Mars behind the moon, including the “McDonald” Observatory at the University of Texas in Austin, where the observatory broadcasts a live broadcast of the “occultation” phenomenon on December 8, at 9:00 a.m. 00 p.m.


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