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I just saw this and thought I'd pass it along for anyone interested:

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Close Encounter with Mars

Never again in your lifetime will the Red Planet be so spectacular. During July and August Earth is catching up with Mars, an encounter culminating 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 effects 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.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles 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. Mars will look similar as the full moon to the naked eye at a modest 75-power magnification and will be easy to see.

At the beginning of August, Mars will rise in the east at 10:00 PM and reach its azimuth at about 3:00 AM. 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 12:30 AM. That's pretty convenient when it comes to seeing something that no human has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter throughout the month.

Share with your children and grandchildren. No one alive today will ever see this again.

http://www.discover.com/aug_03/featsky.html
 

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I wish I had a telescope. ;-;

I'll definitely have to keep an eye on the sky, though. I love stuff like this. ^^
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MsRuthieB

Maybe this accounts for all the weird stuff as mentioned in the "Is the World Going Crazy" thread. Hmmm....
It has much to do with it I believe. As I said - Mars is ATTACKING!


(So does this mean then I have to wait for the 27th for things to get back to normal around here?!)
 

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cool. i never get to see these things either because i usually hear about them after they've happened


so yeah thanks for posting this, i might grab my telescope from my mom's next weekend, if not i have binoculars that might do the trick.
 

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Robert: thanks, I didn´t know. I´ll look out for mars.

Recently I was alble to see a patial eclipse of the sun. I hope, you`ll keep us up to date what´s happing up in the skies.
 

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"(Can't hardly see the moon with the city lights here.)"

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You should be able to see Mars as it will be pretty bright. You'll need a telescope and you should see a reddish-orange disk with some vague darker patches and a whiter area near one of the poles.

I'd suggest anyone to look up the local astronomoical association in theiryellow pages and see if they are offering a free public look. Years ago when I was into astronomy , the group I was in would give public sky-tours.

You might even see some other things (M13 in Hercules , Andromeda Galaxy , the Ring nebula , the Dumb-bell nebula ....... etc etc ... all sortsof neat things up there)
 

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I was exaggerating a bit.
But if I'm going to spend some time looking at the sky, I want to be able to see the stars, too.

There's a place about 2 hours away off the highway that I go to when I want to watch meteor showers and such. It's worth the drive not to have the light interference.
 
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