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Topic: Mars....
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Jun 4, 2009 12:08PM)

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 10pm.
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
Share this with your children and grandchildren.


(copied from an email. there were pics but I couldn't copy and paste them)
Message: Posted by: airship (Jun 4, 2009 12:13PM)
BS. Mars never looks as big as the moon. It never can, and it never will. If it ever DOES, say your prayers and kiss your ass goodbye.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jun 4, 2009 12:15PM)
Oh if only this were true.

Mars is pretty sweet and wonderfully red but it will never be as apparently large as the moon, I'm sad to say.

Mars was very close to the earth a few years back, but it's apparent disc was still smaller than than the disc of Jupiter. Last year, it was also large, but was favourably placed high in the sky for Northern Hemisphere observers.

I'm at work and don't have my tables nearby. Mars may put on a bit of a show this summer, but it will never be as great as that email suggests.

Sorry to disappoint.

Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 4, 2009 12:16PM)
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Jun 4, 2009 12:29PM)
Well, I know nothing about this stuff thought it was cool. Now I get to forward the snopes link and ruin some ones day like I did sooooo many times about obama/muslim, koran, ect...
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 4, 2009 01:03PM)
I know...I hate that.
Sometimes it is far better to just believe.
More fun at least.
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (Jun 4, 2009 01:09PM)
True that
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jun 4, 2009 02:28PM)
Snopes sucks.
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jun 4, 2009 08:08PM)
Much more fun Gwyd, but then comes the disappointment when it does not pan out. Consider the distance and size. The moon has a diameter of about 2,000 miles and is about a quarter of a million miles away.
Mars has a diameter of about 4,000 miles but is at best 40,000,000 miles away. Often it is much further. There is just no way that something with twice the size but at least 160 times further away could appear that big from Earth. Not going to happen guys. Still always fun to imagine.

I recall a MacGyver movie in which Mac is trying to find the lost treasure of Atlantis and can only get it when the planets align. Nice graphics as they all line up larger than life for Mac and everyone else to see. Not real, but cool looking.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Jun 4, 2009 08:34PM)
Thank you! I live in a verrrry dark area (no street lights for 20 miles!) so we get loads of visable stars. I shall convinve my wife Mars is colliding with Earth! I've a question, since Mars is red does this mean the Crips will shoot at it?
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Jun 5, 2009 09:33AM)
I heard Crips will shoot at anything. Actully The school I teach at is in Crip Territory, and I have been warned by my students not to wear red.