Daily Life

Sky Terrace: Mars Musings – Mars at its brightest in July/August 2018, Earth at its hottest…

10. August 2018

Sky Terrace – An astrological-analytical look at the stars, planetary movements, seasonal phenomena, and the world at large, by Uli Mai.

July/August 2018 are some spectacular times to watch Mars in action

On July 31st we had the closest approach of Mars to Earth since 2003. This is why Mars seemed much bigger, and was more easily observable with the naked eye. On July 31st, official close approach day, Mars was only 57.6 million kilometers away. By comparison: the maximum distance to earth is roughly 400 million kilometers… Even more spectacularly, in 2003 we had Mars come closer to Earth than it had in 60.000 (!) years.
Mars’ high visibility coincided with a Lunar Eclipse that made it impossible to overlook it. During the Blood Moon on July 27th, the longest lunar eclipse of the Century no less, millions of people stared at the red planet, shining brilliantly right under the dark red moon. The eclipse occurred at less than 1 degree proximity to Mars, and the Moon’s South Node – a super rare event both astronomically and astrologically.
Is it just a coincidence that both in 2003 and 2018, extreme temperatures struck earth? Meteorologists admitted they were at a loss how to explain the synchronous overheating of much of the Northern Hemisphere in July/August 2018 – that coincided with Mars’ close approach. And in 2003, a historic heatwave scorched Europe. 2003 was the hottest summer since the sixteenth century, with almost 15.000 dead in France alone.
This observation does not diminish human-made climate change, it just adds an astronomical dimension to the timing of extreme weather events. Especially weather events connected to Mars’ nature: the red planet, named after the Roman God of War, is connected to fire, heat and draught. Aries, the sign Mars rules in Astrology, belongs to the fire element, and Aries people are known to be belligerent, hot-headed, and easily inflamed both in passion and anger.
Heat and Anger go well together. People are more stressed, impatient and aggressive the hotter it gets. Archeological finds underline that wars often break out due to climate changes toward hotter, drier conditions. The most war-like cultures came from the Asian steppes and, in the late Neolithic period, assaulted the thriving, luscious and sensual cultures of the near east – the survival of the fittest is a concept that didn’t originate in green and fertile places, but in arid lands. Hello, Mad Max/Mars…
The prominence of Mars, and the rise of wildfires, and crops and rivers drying up in the 21st Century should give us pause. July’s South Node Lunar Eclipse closely aligned with Mars would have been interpreted as an omen of heat, and war, in ancient astrology, and can be also today. The closeness of the South Node especially hints to a return to old, detrimental patterns of action and aggression. This applies to personal life, esp. if you have planets in early Leo, Aquarius, Scorpio or Taurus, as well as to the political scene. Mars is aggression, but also action and courage: Where will we take ours?
As a hint: On July 31st, Mars’ closest approach, NASA published a statement about how it’s impossible to terraform Mars given the current technology. Creating a sustainable atmosphere on Mars is absolutely impossible in the foreseeable future. It’s the time to look at Mars and realize there’s only one planet, blue Terra, that has a perfect climate and perfect living conditions for human, animal and plant life. Let’s not turn that blue planet red.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of northern Meridiani Planum shows faults that have disrupted layered deposits. Some of the faults produced a clean break along the layers, displacing and offsetting individual beds. Interestingly, the layers continue across the fault and appear stretched out. These observations suggest that some of the faulting occurred while the layered deposits were still soft and could undergo deformation, whereas other faults formed later when the layers must have been solidified and produced a clean break. The map is projected here at a scale of 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) per pixel. [The original image scale is 54.6 centimeters (21.5 inches) per pixel (with 2 x 2 binning); objects on the order of 164 centimeters (64.6 inches) across are resolved.] North is up.

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