Martian green flash observed on the Red Planet as Mars is approaching Earth for a 15-year close encounter on July 27th


MARTIAN GREEN FLASH: Mars is approaching Earth for a 15-year close encounter on July 27th. The Red Planet now outshines every object in the sky except the sun, Moon, and Venus. Mars is doing things only very luminous objects can do… like a GREEN FLASH on July 12th:

Green And Blue Flash On Red Planet Mars
Taken by Peter Rosén on July 12, 2018 @ Central Stockholm, Sweden

As the Gif image was recorded, Mars was shining brightly in the early morning sky. At an altitude of only 6.5° above the horizon, the turbulence was extreme, sometimes splitting the planet’s disc in 2 or 3 slices and displaying a green and blue flash resembling those usually seen on the sun.

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Mars is doing things only very luminous objects can do–like produce a green flash.

That’s not all. Mars is also making its own glitter paths. Last night, Alan Dyer photographed this specimen from Driftwood Beach at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta:

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Bright yellow Mars approaching a close opposition in July 2018 shines over the waters of Middle Waterton Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park in southwest Alberta. Mars is so bright it produces a glitter path on the water. By Alan Dyer

A glitter path is a band of light in the water. It is caused by reflections from the troughs and crest of tiny waves. Normally, only the sun and Moon (and sometimes Venus and Jupiter) produce glitter paths. Now Mars is doing it too.

Dyer notes that Mars was “bright yellow”–a hue caused in part by the massive global dust storm in progress there. Think about it: A dust storm on another planet that you can see with your naked eye. Mars is close.

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Mars Global Dust Storm on the early morning of 07-07-2018.05;34 U.T.,…just as Mars is getting close enough to Earth make out very fine disk details, this dust storm kicks up to obscure the finer details,…but at least you can still see the South Polar cap and Northern polar region blue water ice limb clouds using an 8 diameter telescope. Image by John Chumack

Still two weeks before closest approach, Mars is almost 3 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, and 30% brighter than the giant planet Jupiter. In other words, you can’t miss it. Look south at midnight and remember, the best is yet to come.

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