Subject: Two Moons in the August Sky
  >
  > Starting in August, Mars will look as large as the full moon to  the
naked
  eye. 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. At the beginning of  August it will rise in the east
at
  10p.m. and reach its azimuth  at about 3 a.m.
  >
  > By the end of August when Earth and Mars are closest, Mars will rise
at
  nightfall and reach its highest  point in the sky at 12:30a.m.
  >
  > 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.
  >
  > 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 month.
And be
  sure to watch the sky on August 27th.  It will look like the Earth has
two
  moons!
  >
  > 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.
  >
  > Share  this with your children and grandchildren.
  > NO ONE ALIVE TODAY  WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN.

 

Cecil Herrng, Space Artist

aug 26 04