Skywatchers have something to rejoice this Tuesday, as an eclipse-like event will cause Mars to vanish from the skies in North America. Scientists have named this event a lunar occultation, and during these moments, the Red Planet will pass directly behind the moon, which will make it hidden from human sight.
A rare planetary alignment
People can look into the skies and can watch this rare celestial event using their naked eyes. As both the moon and Mars are bright enough, there is no need to use a telescope to witness the event. However, skywatchers should understand the exact time when they should look at the skies to see Mars vanishing behind the moon. It should be noted that the exact time in which this rare planetary alignment will happen is dependent on your location.
Space experts reveal that the western United States will be the best area from where this occultation can be viewed and photographed. The skies should be also cloud-free to witness this rare planetary alignment. However, people in the central and eastern United States will most likely miss this sighting due to the possibilities of cloudy weather.
"We are looking at cloudy and rainy weather in the morning from eastern Texas through the Southeast and northward into the Midwest. Some clouds will be around the rest of the East Coast. The only areas that look to be clear will be in the central and southern Plains and also in the Southwest," said Alan Reppert, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.
Will this planetary alignment trigger earthquakes?
Even though these planetary alignments happen once in a while, a section of people believes that celestial events like these could trigger natural disasters on earth. Self-proclaimed seismic researcher Frank Hoogerbeets had several times warned that rare planetary alignments and lunar geometry will destabilize the tectonic plates on the earth, and it will cause an unprecedented rise in seismic activities.
However, experts have always dismissed Hoogerbeets' seismic prediction stating that no technology is capable of predicting earthquakes with precision.