"The Great Mars/Venus Switch"

Scheduled air date: 2003 Mar 17-23

The planet Mars continues to close on Earth as it moves toward its August opposition—the point in its orbit directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth.  The brilliant planet Venus is presently the closest planet to Earth (about 108 million miles/170 million kilometres away this week), but by the first of April, Venus and Mars will be the same distance from Earth (about 115 million miles/185 million kilometres), and then Venus will move farther away while Mars continues to move closer to us.
(Shown about an hour before sunrise from mid-Northern latitudes for the mornings of March 23-31.)

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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