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June 6, 2005: By the time you finish reading this sentence, you'll be 25 miles closer to the planet Mars.
Earth is racing toward Mars at a speed of 23,500 mph, which means the red planet is getting bigger and brighter by the minute. In October, when the two planets are closest together, Mars will outshine everything in the night sky except Venus and the Moon. (You're another 50 miles closer: keep reading!)
It's only June, now, but Mars is already eye-catching. You can see it early in the morning, rising before the sun in the eastern sky, shining almost twice as bright as a 1st-magnitude star. A sky map, below, shows where to find Mars on Wednesday morning, June 29th, when it appears pleasingly close to the crescent Moon.
Originally posted by robertfenix
as large as the moon is to the naked eye, when viewing mars with a 75x power telescope.
At a modest 75-power
Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked
Back on Earth people are going to enjoy watching Mars swell and brighten in the months ahead. By mid-summer, amateur astronomers with backyard telescopes will be able to spot polar ice caps and dust storms and strange dark markings. By autumn, even the least attentive of your neighbors will be remarking on "that bright red thing in the sky." Mark October 31st as the best day of all: Mars will rise at sunset, hang overhead at midnight, and "blaze forth against the dark background of space with a splendor that outshines Sirius and rivals the giant Jupiter himself." That's how astronomer Percival Lowell described a similar close encounter in the 19th century.
# Metric: 363,300 km
# English: 225,700 miles
43 million miles (69 million km)
Originally posted by SkinWalker
Didn't this already happen in 2003 ?
I mean Mars and it's closest approach in a century?
Originally posted by they see ALL
wouldn't this be the ideal time to send some more robots / humans there???
i mean, the shorter the ride the better right???
if only we were ready to...