Home Science Space 2010: Mars gets brighter and closer to Earth
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On Wednesday night, January 27, 2010, Mars will be only 99 million kilometers (60 million miles) away from Earth. But, on Friday the viewing might be an even better for seeing Mars and the full Moon. So, take a look up in the sky and see a brighter and closer Red Planet.


The planet Mars will be its closest distance to Earth, on January 27, 2010 (a mere 99.33 million kilometers away), than it will be for the next four years'”until 2014.

It won't be as close as it was in 2003'”when it was only 56 kilometers (35 million miles) from Earth (its closest distance to Earth in 60,000 years)'”however it will still appear very bright, orangish-red, and a bit larger, too.

According to the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) website Mars 2009/2010, 'Mars will come into Opposition on January 29, 2010 in the constellation Cancer. Two days before, on January 27, 2010, the planet will have come to its closest approach to Earth during this apparation: 99.33 million km (0.66399 AU).'

And, 'This is not very close, as Mars will be quite close to its aphelion at the time of this opposition; the aphelion is passed on March 31, 2010. This opposition will occur during Northern Spring and Southern Autumn on Mars, so primarily observable will be the Northern hemisphere of Mars.'

Another date to look forward to is August 14/15, 2050. On that day, Mars will be about 55.957 million kilometers from Earth--another very close proximity to Mars, like in 2003 [SEDS statistics].

You will be able to see the planet Mars if you look toward the east at sunset. Mars will be within the constellation Cancer, and just to the left of the Moon.

Page two continues with information on its apparent magnitude (brightness), along with a sky map of the evening sky.

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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University

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