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Subject: MARS Info


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 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. 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.
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I hope to see it near the end of the month with one of the children's telescopes. This is amazing.. According to the site I visited, a 75 power telescope will show the polar caps and the features on Mars. To the naked eye, it will shine brighter than Venus or Jupiter and look quite reddish.
 

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I would call the nearest science center and ask where to look at nightfall. I'm sure you'll be able to see it. Or you could use a search engine to get the information for Portugal. I hope we all get to see it. It has been very cloudy all month here, so I have not seen it yet. We still have the rest of August, so I'll be watching!

It will be in opposition to the sun, so when the sun goes down, we'll see Mars rising in the east, and when the sun comes up, Mars will be setting in the west. So, come to think of it, that would apply to the whole earth, I believe.
 

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chelle, Remember, you need a telescope to make it the size of the moon. I don't know if you can take a picture that way. I think you can do it with certain home telescopes--and of course that's how the huge telescopes do it. To the naked eye, it will be still be the brightest object in the sky, except for the moon--and the only reddish colored object. But with a telescope you will be able to see the polar caps and some topography. I wish I had a telescope! I got to look at Saturn at the local planetarium through their telescope, and I was awestruck! It looked just as it does in the pictures.
 

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As big as the moon only if you use a 75 power telescope, which is very inexpensive. That's a small, inexpensive one that is marketed for young people.

Here's a link. I would also look at the link they give you for observing Mars with a telescope. There's more information there.

http://www.physics.sfasu.edu/astro/mars.html
 

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I found this link for free software in Sky and Telescope, the article they recommend. I also downloaded an interactive sky chart, which will tell you where the planets and constellations-well, all celestial bodies are. You have to add your location and time zone (including Daylight Savings Time). According to the chart, Mars is rising towards the ESE, close to the moon, so you have found it. After 10 p.m. is best. Our sky has been cloudy for a week, so I can't even find the moon! I can see only the glow through the clouds. I'm hoping it's clear tonight.

http://skyandtelescope.com/search.asp?s ... e+software

I think the chart was on the opening page of the original link. It's really worth having, and takes only a couple of minutes to personalize.
 
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