Mount Palomar, California (IP) - Global warming will end abruptly this week as Earth will once again leave its orbit and will wander through the solar system. This event happens on a regular basis every 30,000 years and is responsible for the recurring cycle of ice ages and rewarming periods.
The effects of this phenomenon are hardly noticeable on the sunward side of our planet due to the gravitational lens effect induced by the atmosphere. The night side of the Earth will get spectacular views of at least one planet which lies in the direction that the Earth is traveling in. That planet will be Mars this time around. The Earth's moon will remain in its place in orbit and will accompany the Earth on it's journey.
The last time this happened much of man kind was still well inside the lithic period and in North America it happened before the paleo period and so there are only a few records of the previous event which can be found painted on cave walls.
The Earth will approach Mars on August 27th and Mars and the Moon will appear side by side as the Earth and Mars will only be 678,000 miles apart. The two small moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos, are roughly ten miles in diameter and will be visible to the naked eye if you know where to look. The polar caps of Mars will be clearly visible and many folks who will never see the Earth's ice caps will get an excellent view of the Martian caps.
Unfortunately Mars is the only planet which the Earth will approach during this event. The last time it happened all of the planets were in perfect alignment and the Earth passed very close to each one. Our planet is the only one in the solar system which performs this action due to the gravitational anomaly which occurs because of the missing planet syndrome. That syndrome occurs because there is a planet missing from an orbital slot between Jupiter and Mars and it is believed that the Earth once occupied that position while the Moon was present in the orbital slot the Earth now occupies.
Sales of backyard telescopes and binoculars have reached a feverish pitch. Many fist fights have broken out in front of Walmart and other stores as people fight to get in hoping to get their hands on some good optics. Cyber auctions also report that telescopes as small as 40mm and 60mm are selling at around $1,555 starting bids. Folks are reminded they can still see plenty without any optical aid. That is especially true for the Perseid meteor shower on August 10th through the 13th. This year's shower will be better than usual because the Moon will be new during those evenings.