Mark Your Calendar for August 2005

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Adam's Apple, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Received in an e-mail. Accompanying articles are pretty interesting.

    The Red Planet is about to be spectacular!

    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. 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.

    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. 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 it will rise in the east at 10p.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 12:30a.m. 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.

    Share this with your children and grandchildren.

    NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN.

    http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_orbit_030121-1.html
    http://griffithobs.org/whenwasmarsclose.pdf
     
  2. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    Isn't Mars named after the God of War Ares?
     
  3. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    yup---this HAS to be significant !!!! :laugh:
     
  4. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    Didn't we have a big thing with mars a couple years ago?
     
  5. USViking
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    USViking VIP Member

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    W-a i-i-i-t a second.
     
  6. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Will be an awesome sight--especially if Mars is its usual red color.
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    wait a lot of seconds and read the article----Viking is right--mars will NOT appear as large as the moon. Guess someone felt the need to overhype this bit.
     
  8. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Overhype it was. I re-read the first article listed, and it states that Mars will look only about like Jupiter does when it appears in our night sky, except that Mars will retain its red/orange color. With all the city light pollution, etc., this might make it harder to see in the night sky than if it were the regular color of stars. There's a church camp located about 30 miles south of us. It's located on White River and is really out in the boondocks. No light pollution there whatsoever. I'll have to drive down there one evening late in August with binoculars and take a good look at this phenomenon.
     
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  9. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    Mars is in no way going to be as large as the moon to the naked eye. As bright maybe, I seriously doubt even that as Mars is not as reflective as the Moon, but not as large.

    I live in the Boondocks, no light pollution except from lights I can turn off. I am looking forward to giving my new 15" Telescope a workout this month...
     
  10. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    Read the article more closely, it says that under 75x magnification, Mars will be the same size as the moon is to the naked eye. That means that if you only look at the moon "unassisted," then look at Mars only with a 75x telescope, they will look the same size.

    Oh, and yes, Mars is the Roman name for Ares, the God of War (TM, and a really sweet game, to boot).
     

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