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Susan K. de Vegter

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by Susan K. de Vegter   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, July 24, 2006
Posted: Monday, July 24, 2006

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The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!


This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that
will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in
recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is
in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on
Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be
certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth
in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as
60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when
Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and
will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in
the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9
and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest
75-power magnification

Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye .
Mars will be easy to spot. At the
beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m.
and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are
closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its
highest point in the sky at 12: 30a.m. That's pretty
convenient to see something that no human being has
seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at
the beginning of August to see Mars grow
progressively brighter and brighter throughout the

Reader Reviews for "MARS!"

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/26/2006
"Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye"

I doubt it, but will be watching, my rocket ready.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 7/24/2006
We have our telescope ready.

Reviewed by Peter Paton 7/24/2006

I can sense you are excited too...and why not..
This is a big deal !

And I have a soft spot for the Red Planet, having previously written a trilogy about Mars..

Thanks for the tip off..

Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 7/24/2006
I can see that you are excited. And why not?
Reviewed by ronald genise 7/24/2006
Important information for us all. Now will have to remember what nook my tele scope is stored
Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK 7/24/2006
Most Interesting!

Reviewed by Felix Perry 7/24/2006
I'll be star gazing too, sweet Susan so maybe we can both make a wish that night.

Reviewed by George Carroll 7/24/2006
Thanks so much Susan for this information. I will make a note on my calendar to look for it in August. This will be quite an event and I will notify all my kids to look for it.


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