Mars is going to disappear from Earth's sky for two weeks starting on Saturday

Mars will disappear from Earth's sky for two weeks as the Red Planet moves directly behind the Sun, severing communications with NASA robots.

1 minute & 20 seconds read time

Mars is simply going to disappear from Earth's skies for two whole weeks, but there is nothing to worry about - the Red Planet will be back!

NASA has taken to its website to explain that it will be severing communications with all its robots currently stationed on the surface of Mars as the Red Planet is moving into what is called a "solar conjunction". So, what does this mean? Solar conjunction is a phenomenon that occurs once every two years, and it is when the Sun moves directly in-between the line of sight Earth has with Mars, obscuring our planet from any sight of the Red Planet for a period of two weeks.

While Mars is completely out of sight, its emissions are also problems. Our host star gives off hot, ionized gas continuously, which has the chance of corrupting radio signals sent from Earth to Mars. These corrupted radio signals can cause strange behaviors to happen within the robots that receive them. Commands can get mixed up, and there is the potential for catastrophic failure. Due to these risks, NASA has decided to halt all communications with Mars until the Sun is out of the way.

"While NASA usually receives health updates from the Mars fleet throughout conjunction, there will be two days when the agency will not hear from it because the Red Planet will be fully behind the disk of the Sun," writes NASA

"Our mission teams have spent months preparing to-do lists for all our Mars spacecraft," said Roy Gladden, manager of the Mars Relay Network at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. "We'll still be able to hear from them and check their states of health over the next few weeks."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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