Friday, July 14, 2006

We will never see this again in our lifetime...

...nor will the people of the next 50-to-1,000 Life Times!
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 month.


This was an email I got from my dad, which came with some pictures that apparently only exist in the email. But I thought it was cool, and the 2 people who actually read my blog might want to know about it!


Larjmarj said...

Kewl...I'll be looking for it. Make that 3 people that read your blog.

Theresa said...

I'm so excited that you've gotten so far with Sizzle. I've been checking daily to see how the progress was going. I'm going to tell everyone about Mars! I love the night sky!

Theresa said...

and hey! I not only read you, I LINK to you!!

Becky said...

Cool, but unfortunately not true:

P.S. I love your blog, too! I have it bookmarked.