My AC has been off for more than a week now... only fixed
temporarily for two days, (the repairman will be back Monday) so
it's hard to get motivated to write. However, I'm pasting a post
from Donna Cunningham below (but I don't know if she was the one who
wrote it), which is probably better than I would have written it
myself, and it was what I was going to write about anyway.
MARK AUGUST 27th ON YOUR CALENDAR
MARS WILL APPEAR AS BIG AS THE MOON!
FIRST TIME IN AT LEAST 5,000 YEARS!
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
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 ey! e. 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 friends, children and grandchildren. No one alive
ever see this again!