April 1, 2023


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Mars return.  The planet changed course in the night sky - o2

Mars return. The planet changed course in the night sky – o2

Mars is the closest planet to Earth. It orbits the Sun in 1.88 Earth years, or 687 days. On October 30, he began his comeback, also known as a retrograde movement. It will run until January 23, 2023.

The motion of the planets against the background of the stars, as we observe from the Earth, is due to the actual motion of these planets, but also to the motion of the Earth itself. Retraction is the effect of the geometry of the orbits of both planets, as astronomer Rok Nežič of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland explains in an interview with the US “Newsweek”.

Mars wanders in the night sky. Earth will overtake him

When viewed from the North Pole of the Earth, the planets revolve around the Sun in a counterclockwise direction. When observing from the ground, it can be assumed that it is moving east.

Rok Nežič notes that according to Kepler’s laws, planets closer to the sun move faster than planets farther away. This is because the sun’s gravitational influence on them is less. In practice, this means that the Earth “bypasses” the outer planets from time to time as it moves around the Sun.

In this case, it seems to us that Mars stops in the night sky and then begins to move west. In fact, the two planets still move counterclockwise around the sun, but since Earth is past Mars, we think it’s moving in the other direction. When Earth moves far enough from Mars, we’ll once again observe Mars traveling east in the night sky, the astronomer describes.

Mars return. Only Copernicus could explain it

Only Nicholas Copernicus was able to explain the apparent retrograde motion of the planets. In his model of the solar system, he put the sun at the center, not the Earth. This allowed the assumption that the planets could pass at different speeds – the scientist confirms.

See also: Venus and Jupiter will “collide” in the sky. The unique scene will be visible to the naked eye

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