The “solar conjunction” stops communication with Mars for two weeks

The Jeddah Astronomical Society clarified that from Saturday, Earth’s control centers will stop communicating with its probes, whether orbiting Mars or on the surface, and it will continue for two weeks because of the sun.

The head of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah, Majed Abu Zahira, stated that Mars is approaching the sun in preparation for the so-called “solar conjunction”. from the sun, and this will cause space agencies to cut off communications.

He pointed out that this phenomenon occurs about every two years when the sun comes between Earth and Mars, and right now we can’t see Mars, and the probes can’t see us.

Abu Zahira said, “Therefore, no one is trying to send new instructions to Mars during the solar conjunction. It is impossible to predict the information that may be lost due to interference from solar radio bursts or distortions due to refraction in the atmosphere of the sun, and if the probe receives incomplete commands, it can expose it to major trouble.” Therefore, during the time of “solar conjunction”, simple to-do lists can be sent, including examination of the probe systems.

He added: “If the probe sends signals, the charged particles from the sun will disrupt them, losing some of the data reaching us, but this isn’t a big deal because you send the probe to that data later.” again.”

It is noteworthy that there are currently three roaming probes active on the surface of Mars: Curiosity and Perseverance, both of which are operated by NASA, in addition to the Zurong rover, which is part of the Chinese National Space Administration’s Tianwen-1 mission. .

In addition, there are eight probes orbiting Mars that study the planet: the UAE “Hope Probe”, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission, Marvin, Tris Gas Orbiter, Tianwen-1, which amounts contributed from information about Mars to Mars.


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