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Mars glows, no need for Rudolph's nose
Yahoo News ^ | December 230, 2007 | Seth Borenstein, Science Writer

Posted on 12/23/2007 7:38:05 PM PST by Clintonfatigued

Mars will be unusually bright this Christmas Eve and the moon will be shining full — a development that might make Santa Claus rethink his need for Rudolph's red nose.

That idea, from Miami Space Transit Planetarium director Jack Horkheimer, made us wonder if retooling a certain reindeer song is the best way to explain it to the kids:

Mars is a red-tinged planet

With a very shiny glow

And if you look to see it

You will find the moon in tow.

The red planet will shine brighter because it will be directly opposite the sun, reflecting the most light, and fairly close to Earth, only 55.5 million miles away. The full moon will appear nearby, rising about an hour later, said Horkheimer, host of the public television show "Star Gazer."

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Unclassified
KEYWORDS: astronomy; christmas; christmaseve; mars

1 posted on 12/23/2007 7:38:05 PM PST by Clintonfatigued
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To: Clintonfatigued
Rudolph has been fired...

Rudolph has been fired...

2 posted on 12/23/2007 7:43:53 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: Molly Pitcher

An out of this world ping.


3 posted on 12/23/2007 7:45:54 PM PST by Dog
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To: Clintonfatigued

Mars is right next to the moon tonight if anyone wants to go out and take a look.


4 posted on 12/23/2007 7:47:38 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

I bought one of those computerized telescopes for my Christmas present. My timing is perfect!


5 posted on 12/23/2007 7:49:11 PM PST by chesty_puller (70-73 USMC VietNam 75-79 US Army Wash DC....VietNam was safer.)
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To: Moonman62

“Mars is right next to the moon tonight if anyone wants to go out and take a look.”

Saw it on the way home from church. Pretty cool.


6 posted on 12/23/2007 7:49:54 PM PST by swmobuffalo (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
ONLY 55.5 million miles away. Jeez
7 posted on 12/23/2007 8:04:49 PM PST by wastedyears ("I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Moonman62

It’s out right now?!?!??!!?


8 posted on 12/23/2007 8:05:10 PM PST by wastedyears ("I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: wastedyears

Go outside!

unless you have clouds, it is very visible.


9 posted on 12/23/2007 8:06:40 PM PST by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: Jet Jaguar

Coooooooooooooooool, I’ll brb


10 posted on 12/23/2007 8:08:18 PM PST by wastedyears ("I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Jet Jaguar
I just looked outside. It's snowing. Nothing but clouds and snow flakes. A white Christmas is guaranteed this year. The forecast calls for 2 to 4 inches on top of what is already on the ground.
11 posted on 12/23/2007 8:11:07 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

I am sorry you missed it. It was a great alignment.


12 posted on 12/23/2007 8:12:55 PM PST by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: Clintonfatigued

The Moon was definitely incredibly bright. But Mars was very much so, so much that I was able to see it penetrate thin cloud cover without any aid to my eye.


13 posted on 12/23/2007 8:43:25 PM PST by wastedyears ("I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Moonman62
Watced Mars & the moon ‘pass’ each other tonight. Wasn’t certain if Mars would be occulted or not. It was close, but didn’t happen.

Since it is well below freezing, with about 4 “ of snow still on the ground, most of the watching was through the kitchen window.

At moon rise, Mars was at about the 7 o’clock position.

An hour or so later, mars was at 5 o’clock.

At just past 7 PM MST, Mars was hanging exactly at 3 o’clock

By 8:30 MST, Mars was about 2 o’clock, and opening the gap between them considerably.

Really highlights the approx 55 minute/day change in the moon’s rising time.

If you squint at the right side of the moon, you can see Mars. You may have to blow it up a bit to see it.

14 posted on 12/23/2007 10:03:13 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (If God didn't want a Liberal/RINO hanging from every tree, He wouldn't have created so much rope!)
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To: ApplegateRanch

Thanks for the report. I can see mars in the picture fine and it looks like it was about half a moon width away from the edge so that would be about a quarter of a degree. The moon moves pretty fast and when it gets close to a star or planet one can almost sense that movement by checking it out every half hour or so.


15 posted on 12/23/2007 10:13:41 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Moonman62
The moon moves pretty fast and when it gets close to a star or planet one can almost sense that movement by checking it out every half hour or so.

That is for sure.

I should have attached my 1.7 telephoto lens, instead of just using the built in 3X zoom.

I saw on another thread that the moon did occult Mars for observers in parts of Europe.

16 posted on 12/23/2007 10:25:41 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (If God didn't want a Liberal/RINO hanging from every tree, He wouldn't have created so much rope!)
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To: retrokitten
Mars is bright tonight, unusually bright - Ronan...
17 posted on 12/23/2007 10:26:32 PM PST by null and void (I've always liked Ron Paul, he is not a like a serial rapist. - rovenstinez)
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To: null and void

And we know how that turned out! ;-)


18 posted on 12/25/2007 5:11:51 PM PST by retrokitten ("I guess this isn't the right economic climate for an expensive, poorly-trained visionary.")
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To: Clintonfatigued

December won’t even get close to 230 days, but the moon is a couple days past full and it is cloudy anyway. Probably going to snow a little. Missed the occultation. How did it go?


19 posted on 12/25/2007 5:13:49 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: ApplegateRanch

It’s been about zero the past couple days, which is better than the -20 to -40 it was last week, but they sky just hasn’t been clear at the right times. When it’s zero we can live outdoors. At -40 we are limited to a couple hours and then the dog begins to complain.


20 posted on 12/25/2007 5:16:26 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: ApplegateRanch

That’s a good image. It was overcast here at that instant of course. Actually the whole evening. It cleared up in the morning and the moon of course doesn’t set when it’s full this time of year and is bright, but it was too light to find Mars.


21 posted on 12/25/2007 5:24:31 PM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: retrokitten

Yeah, now look how it turned out for Bhutto...


22 posted on 12/29/2007 7:41:25 AM PST by null and void (Don't taunt the tiger...)
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To: Clintonfatigued

23 posted on 12/29/2007 7:49:56 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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To: null and void

Ooo...that’s kinda creepy.


24 posted on 12/29/2007 8:42:39 AM PST by retrokitten ("I guess this isn't the right economic climate for an expensive, poorly-trained visionary.")
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