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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 28, 2005 0:17:57 GMT -6
Mars to approach Earth again in the fall, but not like before...
It is possible you've received an email which says that Mars closest to Earth in August in 50,000 years. Sorry, that was 2 years ago, you're reading a recycled email. This year's closest approach will be October, and although it will be spectacular, it is not a record breaker.
So, why are we getting closer to Mars? Imagine two cars on a race track. If one is closer to the center of the track and traveling faster, it will eventully catch up to and pass the outer car. This is what is happening with Earth and Mars, we are "lapping" the Red Planet.
On Halloween night, 2005, it will rise at sunset and hang overhead through most of the night. So, grab a sky map and start watching the approach of Mars, then enjoy the big show on October 31.
Mars has never impressed me optically, even after viewing ice caps and ever changing terrestial features. I'm sure we will get the Mars maddess fever again in the fall.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail