A Quark of A Different Spin. (adameros) wrote,
A Quark of A Different Spin.

From renwick:

Be sure to mark your calendar and remember to watch!!!!!!

MARS WILL APPEAR AS BIG AS THE MOON! [Editor comment: through a 75x telescope]

Never again in your lifetime will the Red Planet (Mars) 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 these 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 don't miss it---mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter throughout the month.

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

At this size, even with a pair of binoculars, you should be able to see the red color and make out the white, ice covered, poles.
I've been noticing that Mar's does not seem to come out till about 2am, here on the west coast. But if you get some astronomy software, you can easily find out when and where to look for Mars. I know there are a couple very good free programs for Linux (go to http://www.freshmeat.net/ and search for "astronomy"). I don't know what there is in the way of free astronomy software for windows, though. If you find some, let me know.

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