(WJW) – Have you ever wanted to see what Mars looks like right now? If so, you won’t want to miss out on the first-ever “livestream” from the Red Planet on Friday.
For an hour, the European Space Agency will stream as photos from Mars come down from their orbiter’s visual monitoring camera.
As the ESA explains on their website, since we’re limited by how quickly light can travel over long distances, there’s no way to technically watch Mars in real-time.
“The time between the images being taken from orbit around Mars and appearing on your screen will be about 18 minutes,” ESA said.
Still, they say this is the next best option.
“What normally happens for the visual monitoring camera on Mars Express, is every couple of days a new batch are ‘downlinked,’ processed and made available to the world,” ESA said. “You’ll have the chance to get as close as it’s currently possible to get to Mars.”
During the stream, ESA says new photos will come in roughly every 50 seconds.
You can watch the stream on ESA’s YouTube channel at noon EST on Friday.
The stream celebrates the 20th birthday of the ESA’s Mars Express, which monitors the Red Planet in three dimensions.
The agency cautions viewers that they’ve never tried anything like this before.
“Exact travel times for signals on the ground remain a little uncertain,” ESA said.