Recently, NASA announced that it will stop sending commands to its fleet of robotic probes on or orbiting the red planet (Mars) due to Mars solar conjunction.
About Mars solar conjunction
- It is a phenomenon which occurs when the Sun will be in between Earth and Mars.
- It happens once every two years.
- During this time the Sun expels hot, ionised gas from its corona.
- It could corrupt radio signals sent from Earth to Mars.
- Also this could cause unexpected behaviour from the spacecraft on Mars.
- This year it is occurring between November 11 and November 25.
Key facts about Mars
- It is the fourth planet in the solar system in order of distance from the Sun and seventh in size and mass.
- It is a periodically conspicuous reddish object in the night sky.
- The planet’s two moons, Phobos (Greek: “Fear”) and Deimos (“Terror”).
- It has a very thin atmosphere.
- The bright rust color Mars is known for is due to iron-rich minerals in its regolith — the loose dust and rock covering its surface.
Q1) What is Ionization?
It refers to the process where an atom or a molecule gains or loses electrons, resulting in the formation of charged particles called ions. This process occurs when sufficient energy is applied to an atom, allowing electrons to be removed or added.