In May, NASA launched another spacecraft, the InSight Mars lander, that will dig under the surface after it reaches a flat plain just north of the Martian equator in November. It's possible that Mars contains life now, even if it is simply microorganisms, and quite safe to say that Mars was home to life before it lost it's magnetic field and, therefore, a great deal of its water. This year, it's projected to be 35.8 million miles away. This happens about once every two years. The eclipse is expected to last almost four hours and the maximum eclipse level lasting one hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, that according to NASA.
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But researchers are excited about the potential for future finds, because if liquid water could be found at Mars's south pole, it might be elsewhere too.
Generally, if Mars is closer, missions are more efficient: Probes spend less time in transit, they need less fuel and they cost less overall. This is partially why Mars is appearing brighter in our sky these days.
"This subsurface anomaly on Mars has radar properties matching water or water-rich sediments", says Roberto Orosei, principal investigator of the MARSIS experiment and lead author of the paper published in the journal Science. "It's approaching its perihelion - the closest point in its orbit to the sun".
The cosmic coincidence which will see the 'God of War ' planet Mars shine in the sky during an eclipse has already got doomsday fans buzzing, but we're glad to report that it probably doesn't mean the apocalypse is nigh.
She also warned not to be fooled by some misinformation going around the Internet. Not even the brightness of the moon will put a damper on Mars' big night.
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Stargazers will be able to see the planet at its brightest from Friday night through to Monday night, as Mars comes a "mere" 36 million miles (58 million km) from Earth, according to NASA. The detection of a long-standing reservoir of liquid water is thrilling evidence of an idea that began to be debated three decades ago: that there could be water at the base of Mars' ice caps, similar to what's present on Earth.
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