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JesseJoe

Zixar, is this true about Mars?

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Zixar, I received this via email this morning and thought of you. What do ya think? Is it for real?

Jesse

Never again in your lifetime will the Red Planet be so spectacular! This month and next Earth is catching up with Mars, 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.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August Mars will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m.

By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m. That's pretty convenient when it comes to seeing something that no human has seen in

recorded history. So mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month. Share with your children and grandchildren. No one alive today will ever see this again.

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Hey I got the same e-mail from a friend of mine. It sounds like fun that is for sure if its true.

Ok!! I will not try to be a nice person...ok? I will not!!

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Yes, this is absolutely true!

One thing though - it said that the next time would be in 2287? It may be way longer than that, considering the last time may have been 60,000 years ago!

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Yep. It's 100% true. Matter of fact, you don't even have to wait a month. Go outside about midnight and face south. Stick your left arm out in about the ten o'clock position and raise it until you see this BRIGHT orangeish-red "star". (You can't miss it, it's the brightest thing in the sky after the Moon.)

That's Mars! If you have a pair of binoculars and some patience, you can also see (no jokes, please) Uranus, about two hands'-breadths away to the west. It shows up as a little green dot. Start at Mars and scan right. A recent issue of Sky & Telescope will help locating it. Neptune is around there too, an even smaller blue dot, but that takes very dark skies.

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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AintMeBabe: I'll have my 10" Meade telescope on it... icon_smile.gif:)-->

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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Oh, another thing. See that picture of Saturn under my handle? That's about how big Mars will look through a telescope at medium magnification. Bigger, if you go higher. I'll try to snap some photos with my astrocam and post the best ones.

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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Thank you for the confirmation! I will be in Texarkana the end of August and the country sky should make this all the more memorable. It really is pretty awesome.

Please do post some photos, Zixar. I?m already looking forward to them. icon_smile.gif:)-->

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Cool, Mars! I just read the thread. It was 12:30 AM, so I just went outside & looked at Mars - thanks Zix & JJ.

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I will be in the Outer Banks, North Carolina at that time. The last time I was there, the night sky was absolutely magnificant. I plan to take my telescope with me then. I just hope the sky is not too busy with stars to interfere with my ability to find Mars. (the telescope I have is very hard to even find the moon!)

Y3K -- Start Early

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SocketCreep: In a really dark spot, Mars will almost be bright enough to cast shadows. icon_wink.gif;)--> It's the brightest thing in the sky, and certainly the brightest in that area of the sky (Aquarius, part of the "wet region" of the sky with few bright stars and only one 1st magnitude star, Fomalhaut, below and to the left of Mars.)

As for telescopes, if you have the standard 60mm department-store refractor, they have such a high f-ratio (typically f/11 or greater) that they show a very narrow patch of the sky. Finderscope alignment is critical with these scopes. The easiest way to align the finder is to slew the main scope around until you can see a distant landmark in the center of the field. Lock the axes, and adjust the finder until the crosshairs are dead center on as much of the landmark as you can determine. I've used the tops of telephone poles 200yds away, license plates of cars, the red lights on radio towers, etc. Make a note to check the alignment again before sundown--after moving a scope, the finder can get bumped out of line slightly which can ruin your whole night.

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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Thought some of you sky watchers might find this interesting. If I remember the significance of some of these heavenly bodies correctly:

Jupiter is the king planet - standing for Christ.

Regulus comes from rex meaning king - standing for Christ.

My question is what does the moon stand for? Love in the night? Witchraft? Wierwolves? Just kidding, but Zix, what does it stand for?

And here is another question. Do you think you or anyone else can give any kind of reasonable shot at what these conjunctions might be saying on a scale of what we read in The Promised Seed? Or was that kind of significance just for them or just for other certain times? I mean the wise men were supposed to be able to read this kind of stuff. Anyway, here is the article. I just got this article on "Weather bug" on my computer:

Amazing Evening Sky Display Tonight

8AM EDT, July 30, 2003

By WeatherBug Meteorologists, Justin Consor and Mark Hoekzema

Sky watchers will have another excellent opportunity after dusk Wednesday evening, as there will be a conjunction of Jupiter and the moon.

Look for Jupiter left very low in the west-northwest sky beneath the moon, shortly after sunset. Mercury will be above and to the left of Jupiter, but it will be much dimmer than Jupiter. A conjunction is when two celestial objects pass very close to one another in the night sky.

In addition, the star Regulus - the brightest in the Leo constellation -will be visible just below and to the left of the moon.

Skies will cooperate in most areas of the country, but clouds will likely inhibit viewing in the Mid-Atlantic and down into the Southeast. Clouds from showers and thunderstorms will make viewing hit and miss across the Deep South and west into Texas. Normally clear locations in the Southwest, including southern California may have trouble viewing due to monsoon cloud cover.

All the items in the conjuncture will be visible to the naked eye, but Mercury may be very difficult to see especially in urban areas. Try any power binoculars to help view this small planet.

A telescope is necessary to see the moons of Jupiter and other features. Jupiter has a striped appearance with alternating white and tan shades, signifying cloud bands moving at different speeds. This occurs because Jupiter's rotation rate is so rapid.

Jupiter's mass is greater than the combined mass of all other planets and moons in our solar system. If you were to travel to Jupiter, you would be poisoned, because its atmosphere contains huge amounts of hydrogen, helium, methane, and ammonia.

Jupiter will vanish behind the Sun in August, but it will return to our view in the eastern sky before dawn in late September.

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I feel a song coming on... its time for a musical break, everyone!

5th Dimension;

"... this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, age of Aquarius, age of Aquarius.... A-qar-i-USssss, A-qar-i-USssss"

Now, back to the star lesson icon_wink.gif;)-->

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I do have the department store variety. It does have a red-dot finder scope, and that did help last night when I was looking at Mars. When I finally found it, I had trouble focusing due to the sloppy mount. Each little move of the focus knob would knock the view off. I did notice that even without touching the telescope, Mars (or any star) would rapidly move out of the field of view due to the Earths rotation. It was amazing how much more it was noticable with the scope and not to the naked eye. I guess that is why you guys that really mean business by the scopes that track with the rotation...

Y3K -- Start Early

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Thomas: The Moon is the only nighttime object that actually has any significant effect on life on Earth. (It causes almost all of the tidal motion because of its gravity.) I'm not all that up on Hebrew astrology, but it is "the lesser light...to rule the night".

Mercury comes much closer to Regulus tonight than Jupiter does to the Moon. Since the Moon was new last night, it's only a few hours old and will set very quickly after the Sun. Jupiter is only within about 4 degrees of the Moon, but Mercury is less than a degree away from Regulus.

Now, two weeks ago, Mars skimmed the top of the Moon and I managed to get some video of it with my camcorder. I'll clip a frame from the video and post it. Didn't have time to drag the scope out, but it's a neat sight, nonetheless.

I'll see if I can't look this stuff up in Bullinger tonight...it'll be cloudy here. icon_frown.gif:(-->

Clear skies to the rest of you, hopefully,

Zix

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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SocketCreep: Yep, it makes all the difference when you'd rather observe an object than play chase.

You can also go for a rich-field scope. Several manufacturers sell a good little scope called the ST-80. It's an 80mm f/5 short-tube refractor that trades magnification for a wider view. For most people, this is a great scope because the wider field makes it easier to find stuff, and most department store scopes are horribly over-magnified anyway. Lovely views of clusters, planets, nebulae, and the like. Very portable, too. Generally goes for about $199 or so. Orion Telescope & Binocular and Oceanside Photo & Telescope (www.optcorp.com) sell them. Some places are also selling the closed-out non-computerized version of Meade's excellent little ETX-90RA for as low as $169. It has the same optical assembly as the more famous ETX-90EC, a finely-crafted 90mm f/13.8 Maksutov-Cassegrain. It has three tabletop legs to use as an equatorial mount so you only have to track in one axis instead of two. Worth looking into...

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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Too Gray Now, I LOVE that song. When I was young and thought I was unloved and unlovable, that song gave me value. I am an Aquarian, you see. Not a very good one but an Aquarian none-the-less. icon_frown.gif:(--> icon_smile.gif:)-->

The 5th Dimension can to Wichita Falls, Texas to be part of a Jerry Lewis Telethon and I was there to hear them sing it. I remember thinking that there must be something good about me if there was a song about me.

I know, young, naive, OK, stupid. But it sure got me through a difficult time in my life.

Thanks for the memory!

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Hey, JesseJ.

How about "Up, Up, and Away"??? Remember that one?

"Would you like to ride in my beautiful, baloon?

Way up in the air, in my beautiful baloon?

We could float among the stars together you and I ... cause we can FLY!!!!....

Suspended under a twighlight can-o-py.... "

Ah, heck.. My memory just cut out on me, again. I hate it when that happens! icon_mad.gif

I think some of these guys (gender-neutral in useage)on this thread are wishing they could fly, too.

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Okay, Bullinger says that Aquarius represents the Living Waters, and Mars has always been associated with wars, so you can draw from that what you will.

Here's the little dance of 2 wks ago:

The fool hath said in his heart, "PFAL is the Word of God..."

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