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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

The Red Planet (thanks, Maggie)
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Lenore    Posted 07-25-2003 at 18:56:56       [Reply]  [No Email]

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 toEarth 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. At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to he 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. Share with your children and grandchildren. No one alive today will ever
see this again.

Thanks, Maggie, for sending this to me.

maggie wiles    Posted 08-14-2005 at 18:00:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
would like to know when Mars will be the most visable in the Black Hills of S.D.

MikeH-Tx    Posted 07-26-2003 at 14:48:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
By all means get your friend with the telescope to show
Mars to you. It will be best in the third week in August.
However, just to moderate the hype a little, be prepared.

Mars is never very large in a telescope, and never shows a
lot of detail without special filters. It normally gets to be
15-20 arc seconds big. This year it will be 25 arc seconds.
Jupiter appears twice that size, always. So, it is "best" not
necessarily "good".

Not trying to dampen enthusiasm - I will be out watching it
through my telescope too. Just don't expect it to knock
your socks off.

Okay, Lenore    Posted 07-25-2003 at 21:12:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't overdo it!

Maggie/TX~~Hey Les!    Posted 07-25-2003 at 21:19:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
You've created a monster, haven't you? Hahahaha!!

Lenore    Posted 07-26-2003 at 07:12:23       [Reply]  [No Email]

I could not resist using my new color skills on an article titled The Red Planet. I will try using restraint.

Les    Posted 07-26-2003 at 03:47:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think the word "azimuth" should really be "zenith". Azimuth is another word for "direction".

Hmmm...    Posted 07-26-2003 at 04:26:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here is the first Definition of 'Azimuth' from

"The horizontal angular distance from a reference direction, usually the northern point of the horizon, to the point where a vertical circle through a celestial body intersects the horizon, usually measured clockwise. Sometimes the southern point is used as the reference direction, and the measurement is made clockwise through 360."

Zenith sure would have been the correct term in my opinion too...I have to cogitate more on this...

Salmoneye, The Cogitator

Clod    Posted 07-26-2003 at 10:01:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
The answer may be found here..But I think I will just look all directions and guess if there is something new and it is not obvious without a telescope I will not care.34 million miles is still not close enough to tell if there is anything valuable to me up there.

Cindi    Posted 07-25-2003 at 19:00:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yay! I heard about this but I didn't take time to read it becuase I didn't think we would be able to just look up and see it. Cool. Thanks Maggie and Lenore.

bill b va    Posted 07-26-2003 at 01:01:00       [Reply]  [No Email]

maybe the cow will jump over mars while its so close

Clod    Posted 07-25-2003 at 19:00:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
34,649,589 miles? I might jump over and see if I like it better there.Man,,That is getting close!

Maggie/TX    Posted 07-25-2003 at 21:13:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey ya'll, I'm not totally sure about all the content in that piece, like the "-2.9" or whatever it was. See, it was one of those emails from someone with a server that doesn't exactly jibe with mine and I had to clean it up and am not sure if I got it all. You ever get those? It's got all this stuff in it that I guess are commands kinda like how you make your font bigger and colored on here and it is between every few words. I have to copy and paste and then delete the excess stuff as best I can.

Anyway, the basics of it are intact, just not sure of all the numbers and punctuation and I do see one place where I forgot to leave a space between words.

I'm excited about this Mars thing! We have a friend nearby who has a very nice telescope that will come in handy for this event. :)

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