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The Red Planet

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Lordhobgoblin (Lordhobgoblin)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Lordhobgoblin

Post Number: 842
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 11:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The night sky is amazing. Living on the outskirts of London we see no more than a handful of stars on a clear night. Earlier this year I spent a weekend in a rural part of England many miles from the nearest house or road, I looked up at the night sky and the sight was simply amazing. To think that before the introduction of cars, electricity etc. we would all have been greeted by that sight when we looked up at night.
Michael (Turangalila)
Mousquetaire
Username: Turangalila

Post Number: 21
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 9:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yeah, it's pretty amazing to finally go someplace with a night sky. I grew up in San Diego, California, which, while it's certainly not the brightest place in the world, is noplace to stargaze. There's a constant haze of light pollution from LA and from all of the surrounding suburbs. And even in Cleveland, OH, where I've been spending summers, there's too much light coming off of the city to really see anything. But last night, with the power out everywhere, there was absolutely no light polution - it was the darkest it's probably been here in 90 years. You could see *everything*... pretty wonderful.

I've only seen the Milky Way once; it was in Yellow Springs, which is as far from anywhere as you can get in this state. It was pretty extraordinary.
Spoon Boy (Absinthespoon)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Absinthespoon

Post Number: 346
Registered: 7-2001


Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 6:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is the city we never see stars - well, not since the earthquake in '89 when all the lights were out. We're going to visit my parents out in the middle of nowhere in Colorado in a week. Night is unbelievably dark there, because there are very few lights for miles around. The sky looks like black velvet with intensely bright white diamonds. I had forgotten what the Milky Way looked like, till last time I was there. It's quite an astonishing sight to someone who is used to city lights and fog! I'm looking forward to some nice views of the red planet!
Michael (Turangalila)
Mousquetaire
Username: Turangalila

Post Number: 20
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 4:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It looks like a big sky-freckle...

Discover has a nice article about it. If the blackout lasts through the night, maybe we'll all get a good view for once.
Crochety Old Bastard (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 880
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Actually I misspoke - the appropriate toast is Serpis .......
"He is an unapologetic, crochety old bastard who will peddle any fibs that will make him a buck, or put him on a pedestal."
ENORMUS DICK (Louched_liver)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Louched_liver

Post Number: 2126
Registered: 12-2001


Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 9:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the tip!!
I read w/dismay what was up w/Mars, as it's supposed to be overcast here until I retire.
I was just leaning out one of the windows of the sunporch, eating blueberries w/whipped cream, and there, through the branches of the pines, were the Moon and Mars.
And, as a lifelong skygazer I can affirm, the Red Dude ain't never looked bigger and brighter. Until the next couple days, of course.
Hi, what're ya havin'?
Pastor of Muppets (Emmy)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Emmy

Post Number: 232
Registered: 9-2001


Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 1:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

and not only will it be its closest on the 27th/28th, but it will be at the time of the new moon, clear for all to see. close enough in fact to see with even a small telescope, the dark patches and valleys, and even the polar caps.

it will be approximately 34 million miles from earth this go round, as opposed to its mean opposition distance of 48 million.

also, around the 24th, uranus will also be at opposition, appearing as a faint green star in the night sky, but only visible to the naked eye in very clear non-urban skies.
Crochety Old Bastard (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 874
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 12:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mars is bright in the night sky this month because it's closer to Earth than possibly it's ever been while humans have been here, and closer than it will be again in any of our lifetimes.

I think the closest night will be around the 27th. I noticed it at the July full moon, when I was puzzled because this star looked to the moon like a stem on a pumpkin, and while of course the moon moved ever westward as dawn approached, SO DID THE STAR! keeping pace with the moon. Near daylight it finally separated and led the way for the moon. Well, as it turned out, that was no star, it was Mars. It's even brighter now, and you can even see the red hue.

So go out and hoist a glass of the opal elixir to the God of War.
"He is an unapologetic, crochety old bastard who will peddle any fibs that will make him a buck, or put him on a pedestal."

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