Solar conjunction forces Mars rovers to fend for themselves next month

Well, the Sun is at it again — throwing another tantrum because we are paying too much attention to the Mars rovers, so it's blocking our view of the planet for the next month or so.

Okay, it's not so much a tantrum as we're headed towards Mars solar conjunction — a period of time roughly every two years where Earth and Mars are on opposite sides of the Sun from each other. In that time, the NASA scientists working with Curiosity and Opportunity will have to mostly leave the rovers to their own devices, just to guard against the Sun corrupting any commands they send to the rovers.

Here's a cool Mars In a Minute video that explains what's going on:

NASA and the rovers will be pausing all the cool science from April 4th until May 1st. Once we're into May, there will be a clear line of site between us again, and the science can resume.

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Let's hope that the Sun puts on a few good shows for us to keep us occupied.

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