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Abu Dhabi stargazers witness rare 'Mars opposition' moment

posted on 22/05/2016: 1824 views



Stargazers in Abu Dhabi witnessed a rare astronomical event dubbed by astronomers as "Mars opposition". The event happens once in every two years when Mars, the Red Planet and the Sun appear on opposite sides of the Earth.

The UAE Space Agency organised an event at the Abu Dhabi Corniche where stargazers brought their telescopes to observe the phenomenon.

The event saw veteran amateur astronomer Sadiq Feteh Ali and other professional stargazers who enjoyed the viewing of the phenomenon at the Breakwater near Marina Mall.

Mars and the Earth aligned in a straight line earlier this week - the closest that the two planets will be until 2287. Mohamed Odeh, Director at Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomical Centre, said: "It is not a moment, it started one month ago and will continue."

Khalid Ali Al Hashmi, Director of Space Missions, Science and Technology Management at the Space Agency said based on the sight, the UAE's Mars Probe Mission will be launched in July 2020, as it will be closest to earth. Dr Mohammed Nasser Al Ahbabi, Director -General of the UAE Space Agency, said that the event will create awareness about planets and space sciences. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/abu-dhabi/abu-dhabi-stargazers-witness-rare-mars-opposition-moment

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