Spectacular Event Involving Mars  

juju34single 46F
155 posts
6/16/2005 9:34 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Spectacular Event Involving Mars

If this is real, this is going to definitely be a hot cocoa and blanket outside night. I got this email from a friend, and I am going to research it. I really wish I had a good telescope!!

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.

On April 07, 2005, two weeks after spring begins on Earth, Mars will appear in the early morning sky as a samll disk 6 arcseconds in diameter at 18° south declination. Between April 07 and October 10, Mars will move steadily northward at one and a third of a degree per week. From the June 21, 2005 (summer solstice on Earth) through early March 2006 it will appear larger than 6 seconds of arc and remain above the celestial equator, well placed for viewing in both hemispheres.

The Red Planet's closest approach to Earth occurs at 04:21 universal time on October 30, 2005. Mars will also reach its maximum disk diameter: 20.18 arcseconds. Between October 20 and November 06 Mars will exceed 20 arcseconds in diameter.

Mars reaches opposition to Earth at 08:20 UT on November 07, 2005, when it is slightly farther from Earth than it was at closest approach. At opposition Mars rises at sunset and is highest in the sky an hour after midnight. For three months before and two months after this date - from August 10 to January 02, 2006 - Mars will be over 12 arcseconds in apparent diameter and close enough to Earth for careful observation.

The very smallest Martian features will be visible for nearly a month in 2005. Beginning on October 23 and extending through November 06, the disk of Mars will exceed 20 arcseconds. During this interval the large volcanoes, like those located within Elysium or in the Tharsis regions, may be visible even in a 6-inch telescope.

After opposition the Red Planet will linger near the same declination for several weeks then move farther north and into the evening sky, but it will be receding from Earth and becoming smaller again. Small surface details and faint atmospheric phenomena can be seen when an apparent disk diameter of Mars exceeds 12 arcseconds. You can see why persistence is a necessary trait of the Mars observer - you'll still be observing Mars in March 2006.

The source page I am going to spell-type out the web address, so this might get tagged for edit...

3 w's dot tnni dot net forward slash ~dustymars forward slash Article underscore 2005 dot htm

Share this with your children and grandchildren because it is going to be really cool.

starlight_runner 39F

6/17/2005 2:16 pm

Gonna check it out.Ta for the info.

Kisses Star

juju34single 46F

6/17/2005 5:25 pm

I am going to try to find a 80x telescope or higher.
I would LOVE to see Mars with as much detail as a naked eye view of the full moon.

You're very welcome, Star

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