Re: Mars Approach - for Todd?
- --- In Maury_and_Baty, Cassondra wrote (post #6233):
> Todd,Hi, Cassondra.
> As our resident astronomical expert, I thought you might know
> something about this...didn't we already do this? I remember
> dragging my kids out in the middle of the night to see what was
> supposed to Mars' nearest approach...even wrote a poem about the
> silly thing...and now it's supposed to be even closer?!?
> feeling fooled ;o)
Maybe you got some old information? You were correct about 2003.
Check out this article at Space.com about the distances between Mars
Orbital Oddities: Why Mars will be So Close to Earth in August
(Jan 21, 2003)
The Mars-Earth opposition this year will NOT be anywhere near as
close as it was in 2003. And the comment about Mars looking as large
as the Moon is a bit silly. Mars simply appears more brilliant at
these times than at others, and certainly never looks more than like
a most brilliant orange star (to the naked eye).
In 2003, the opposition distance was 34.65 million miles, which was
the closest in about 60,000 years. In 2005, the opposition distance
will occur on November 7 (no rush yet to go out and buy your hot
dogs, chips, and coke or beer), and will be about 43.7 million
miles - which is about 9 million miles farther than it was in 2003.
And if you want to get more technical, just take a glance at this
P.S.: Each time I've gone camping up by Lake Superior I've come home
with a few plastic milk jugs full of the most beautiful stones and
pebbles! It is like an addiction!