Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mars This Week - Best Views Till 2016

This weekend Mars will be closest to Earth until June 2016. This will be one of the best chances in a lifetime to do some planet watching.

After Venus sets, Mars will be the brighest star in the evening sky. About two hours after it rises (15 minutes after sunset), it will be about "two fist" lengths above the east-northeast horizon.

It will appear as a bright yellowish-orange "star" poised above the constellation Gemini. It will appear to move slowly back from Gemini into the constellation Taurus.

Mars won't be as close to Earth this week as it was in 2003, but the viewing for North Americans might be better because the planet will be higher above the horizon. Mars will be looking good through most of January. So even for those of us in the cloudy north may get a chance to watch it.

from National Geographic, "Mars Closest to Earth This Week; Best View Until 2016", Dec 18, 2007
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