April 8, 2014

White Dog and The Army have debated all evening tonight’s order of bedtime walks when Steve gets home from his late night of teaching. Each wants to be the first to share a rare astronomical treat when Mars, Earth and the sun will be arranged in a nearly straight line.

Every two years, Mars reaches a point in its orbit called "opposition," when the planet lies directly opposite the sun in Earth's sky, according to Astronomy magazine.

This month we’re closer to Mars than Earth has come for almost six-and-a-half years. At their closest point, Mars and Earth will "only" be about 57 million miles apart. Mars appears brighter and bigger in our sky than it has since December 2007.

This means Mars will rise today near sunset and will remain visible all night long as it moves nearly overhead across the night sky. It will be a bright burnt orange color, NASA's Mars Exploration Program reports, and almost 10 times brighter than the brightest stars in the sky. None of the White Dog Army wants to miss the opportunity of sitting with dad and gazing skyward to view this phenomenon.

With no big storms forecast Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service, Mars should be visible in most areas. Thus far, the night is filled with stars and invitingly mysterious. I am certain that all decorum will be dashed when the WDA hears Steve’s car pull up...and it is probable that walks will supersede dinner. But then I am not so sure Steve, an avid sky watcher, will mind one bit.


Tweedles -- that's me said...

i will be watching those stars for sure

meowmeowmans said...

We saw it! We saw it! Thank you for sharing this with us, dear ones. :)

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