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 in August.. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am.
It will look like the earth has 2 moons.
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. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.
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