"The Great Mars Approach Begins as Mars Prepares for its Closest Meeting with Earth in 60,000 Years!"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Aug 12-18

The planet Mars was in conjunction—on the far side of the Sun from Earth—on August 10th, at a distance of 248 million miles from Earth.  Over the next year, Mars will become closer and closer to Earth, until, on August 27th of next year, it will be a mere 34.5 million miles away; the closest it has been in nearly 60,000 years!
(Shown from high above the Sun's North Pole.  The orbits of Mercury and Venus are also shown for reference.)

Meanwhile, the Waxing Crescent Moon appears near the bright planet Venus and star Spica on the evenings of August 11th and 12th.
(Shown about an hour after sunset for mid-Northern latitudes.)

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.

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