This month and next Earth is catching up with Mars, an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in
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.
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 the 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.
Pretty cool how everyone will get to see something that has never been seen with the naked eye before... to our knowledge of course (cave dudes coulda saw it). And just think, the perfect makeout gimmick... 'Let's go outside and watch Mars rise'.
'ok.. put deodorant on your penis.. then jerk off... then smell your hand,it smells like that'
- Rich (Korawarm)