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08/01/2003 01:42:28 PM · #1
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 appear as big as the moon does to the naked eye.

Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at10 p.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
at12:30a.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 month. Share this with your children and
grandchildren. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN.

Edited to correct bad paragraph break that made it sound like i was saying mars would appear bigger than the moon :).

Message edited by author 2003-08-02 01:13:12.
08/01/2003 02:01:43 PM · #2
That is so amazing, K! Thanks for sharing this. I think its time to dust off the ol' telescope! I hope those with the telescopic attachments for their cameras catch this on digital film for us too. :)
08/01/2003 02:06:16 PM · #3
Cool! Thanks for the heads up.
08/01/2003 02:07:31 PM · #4
I heard about this too! It is exciting. Hopefully New England weather will cooperate.

My father wrote me an email.... "look thru your binoculars to see if you can see any little green men" (LOL)

So, I wrote back to him ... "maybe they'll be looking back at me!" (hehe)
08/01/2003 02:15:04 PM · #5
Been to Mars once as a kid.....kinda red and stuff....
08/01/2003 02:15:29 PM · #6
Oops, never mind. . . bad spacing in the original caused a misunderstanding of the size of the Mars image. . .

Message edited by author 2003-08-01 14:18:55.
08/01/2003 03:57:51 PM · #7
Thanks mag :D
I'm love Astronomy and will be on Maui the 27th, where there are less city lights, hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Did ya'll know that recently two amatuers have made APOD?!?!
Aug1
July29
Amazing stuff!
08/01/2003 04:02:05 PM · #8
wow! the July 29th one IS amazing!
08/01/2003 04:07:06 PM · #9
>>Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye<<

Er, do you not mean 'as bright'? It's going to have to get a hell of a lot closer to look as big :-)

ed
08/01/2003 04:08:20 PM · #10
Yah here's more about the guy, Ralph Encarnacion that shot the one for July29.
08/01/2003 04:28:06 PM · #11
What is the azimuth reading for Mars??????
08/01/2003 07:51:22 PM · #12
By the way.. I dare someone (or multiple people) to post an excellent shot .. or maybe a multi-image or triptych type shot of the August Mars Events! I think that if it is done well enough, you could get quite a few sales at dpcprints!

Call it the Mars Month Challenge, and challenge yourself to document this history!
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