White Cosmic Wizard
Apparently there is a close encounter scheduled for October 2005. The article reads:"Earth and Mars will have a breathtaking close encounter in October 2005. Science@NASA -- By the time you finish reading this sentence, you'll be 25 miles closer to the planet Mars. Earth is racing toward Mars at a speed of 23,500 mph, which means the red planet is getting bigger and brighter by the minute. In October, when the two planets are closest together, Mars will outshine everything in the night sky except Venus and the Moon. (You're another 50 miles closer: keep reading!) We won't actually lap Mars until autumn, October 31st at 0319 Universal Time, to be exact. Only 43 million miles (69 million km) will separate us from Mars, then, compared to an average distance of about 140 million miles (225 million kilometers). It's a great time to send spacecraft there. Mindful of that, NASA plans to launch the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) on August 10th, 2005. Because it takes 6+ months to reach Mars, the best time to start the trip is a month or so before closest approach--thus, August. MRO will arrive in March 2006, enter orbit, and begin a 2-year mission to map the red planet in greater detail than ever before. The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity are already there. They arrived in January 2004 on the heels of another Earth-Mars close encounter in 2003. (Remember, this happens every two years.) The two robots were supposed to stop working months after they landed, worn down by wind, stuck in sand, or exhausted by too little solar power. Credit NASA engineering: Spirit and Opportunity are still rolling and, if they hold true to form, they'll be "alive" to see Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter when it gets there, a tiny point of light in the martian night sky, mapping the red planet for explorers of the future.
...even the least attentive of your neighbors will be remarking on "that bright red thing in the sky." Mark October 31st as the best day of all: Mars will rise at sunset, hang overhead at midnight, and "blaze forth against the dark background of space with a splendor that outshines Sirius and rivals the giant Jupiter himself." That's how astronomer Percival Lowell described a similar close encounter in the 19th century. More good news: you're now 1000 miles closer to the planet Mars.
Source: Dr. Tony Phillips
We have no parents; we make the Multiverse our parents.
We have no home; we make Kia our home.
We have no divine power; we make Laughter our Divine Power.
We have no means; we make Metamorphosis our Means.
We have no magic power; we make Gnosis our Magic Power.
We have no eyes; we make Imagination our Eyes.
We have no ears; we make Receptivity our Ears.
We have no laws; we make Randomness our Laws.
We have no talent; we make Ready Wit our Talent.
You could try this website. It has pics taken from Hubble at the time. http://www.seds.org/~spider/spider/Mars/hst2003-22.html
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