"A Super Close-Up Look At Mars, Which Is Still At Its Brightest Since 1990!"

Scheduled air date: 1999 May 03-09

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Mars is still at about its closest to the Earth, and is very bright in the Southeast evening sky.  It will soon become noticeably fainter (and smaller in a telescope) as it continues to move away from Earth.
(Shown at 10:00pm for mid-Northern latitudes.)

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USGS/NASA images
Mars is home to the Solar System's largest canyon, 2500 mile-long Mariner Valley (left), and the largest mountain, 15 mile-high Olympus Mons (right).

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Malin Space Science Systems/NASA image
Not far from the giant volcano Olympus Mons (near center of above image) are three smaller volcanoes, Arsia Mons, Pavonis Mons and Ascraeous Mons.  These three are in a straight, evenly-spaced row (seen to the lower right of Olympus Mons).

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

Copyright 1999-2006 by Software Bisque, Inc.