"The Fabulous Summer of Mars"

Scheduled air date: 2001 May 28-Jun 03

The planet Mars currently appears as the brightest "star" in the southeast nighttime sky, with a dramatically orange-red color.  The Waxing Gibbous Moon will appear near Mars on the nights of June 5th and 6th.
(Shown at about 11:00 PM for mid-Northern latitudes.  Mars' position is shown for May 28th-June 7th.)

This year June 21st will not only mark Summer Solstice—the beginning of Summer for Earth's Northern Hemisphere—but will also be when Mars is at its closest to Earth in 13 years!  At this time the two planets will be a mere 67 million kilometres / 42 million miles apart.
(The four inner planets of our Solar System are shown in their orbits from above the Sun's north pole over a six-month period.)

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 95, 98, NT, 2000 and Windows Me. Some post-processing may have occurred.

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