I know this is off topic, but I thought it was interesting. Jenny
Subject: Watch for Mars in August
Mars is coming close to Earth in August
Never again in your lifetime will the Red Planet be so spectacular!
This month and next, Earth is catching up with Mars, 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.
On August 27, Mars will come 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. 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, Mars will rise in the
East at 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. But 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 a.m. 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 and brighter throughout the month.
J.Oblander, HT (A.S.C.P.)
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation MS#32
825 NE 13th St.
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