ibusinesslines.com November 18, 2018

Discovery of water on Mars 'could change the whole game'

01 August 2018, 02:05 | Justin Tyler

Enlarge Image The Hubble Space Telescope observed Saturn on June 6. NASA ESA A. Simon and the OPAL Team and J. De Pasquale

Enlarge Image The Hubble Space Telescope observed Saturn on June 6.                  NASA ESA A. Simon and the OPAL Team and J. De Pasquale

While Mars will be overhead for people in central Chile, South African and Australia, it will be low in the southern sky for those watching in the United States and Europe. More information shows that water ice might even exist in middle-latitude subsurface. Mars will remain considerably bright, like that of another star, until that date. Mackay explained that the Earth gets farther from the sun as the year continues.

Astronomers are excited as they will have their closest view of the planet since 2003.

Saturn's portrait is the first image of the planet taken as part of the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) project.

The planet will be easily visible by the naked eye, while those with a telescope may be able to spot details on the planet's surface, such as its ice caps. While a high-resolution camera took staggering pictures of the surface, a radar instrument tested what was concealed underground. However, Hubble has one advantage over space probes: "It can look at these objects periodically and observe them over much longer periods than any passing probe could".

The blood moon, seen over Melbourne in 2014. The new portrait was captured a month before opposition, as Saturn passed a mere 1.4 billion km from the telescope.

"Depending on how pervasive this is, it could really change the whole game of how we're thinking about Mars", Robinson said. From the outside in are the A ring with the Encke Gap, the Cassini Division, the B ring, and the C ring with the Maxwell Gap.

Editor's note: Friday night marks Mars Opposition.

On Friday, July 27, Mars will be in opposition-viewed from Earth in the opposite direction as the Sun. Increased heat in the southern hemisphere spring and summer likely triggers planet wide dust storms.

On Earth, microorganisms have been found in the subglacial lakes of Antarctica that have existed in isolation from the external Antarctic environment for 35 million years or more and, since numerous 400 subglacial lakes that have been identified so far appear to be hydraulically connected, it is reasonable to conclude that microbial life may exist almost everywhere beneath the Antarctic ice, Clifford said. While previous images showed detailed surface features of the planet, this new image is dominated by a very big sandstorm enshrouding the entire planet.

The gas giant Saturn was the first of the two planets to be shot by Hubble as it approached its June 6, opposition relative to the Earth.

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