Moon to Make Rare Pass Over Mars Tonight

Stargazers further north and west will get best view

By John Abell,  Newser User

Posted Dec 23, 2007 4:54 PM CST

(Newser) – Scanning the heavens for a sighting of Santa tonight? Star-gazers will also see the full moon appear to pass just over Mars, which is still glowing a strong yellow-orange color. Skygazers farther north and west will get the best view—especially in the Pacific Northwest, western Canada, and Alaska—where the moon will visibly hide, or "occult," Mars for a short time.

Prime viewing times along the US East Coast will be between 8:40 and 9:10 p.m. EST. On the West Coast, the closest approach will occur between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m. PST. Ironically, this event occurs mere months after a popular Internet prank claiming that the red planet would appear beside the moon, and just as big.

An artist rendition released by the European Space Agency on Nov. 28, 2007 shows the main bodies of the solar system -- the Sun, Mercury, Venus, the Earth, from left in foreground, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars -- from left in background. (AP Photo/ESA/HO)
An artist rendition released by the European Space Agency on Nov. 28, 2007 shows the main bodies of the solar system -- the Sun, Mercury, Venus, the Earth, from left in foreground, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn,...   (Associated Press)
A close-up of Mars when it was closest to the Hubble Space Telescope%u2014just 55 million miles away%u2014taken with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.
A close-up of Mars when it was closest to the Hubble Space Telescope%u2014just 55 million miles away%u2014taken with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.   (Associated Press)
Backyard astrophotographer Becky Ramotowski took this close-up of Mars during a rare 2003 encounter between the Moon and Mars. (space.com)
Backyard astrophotographer Becky Ramotowski took this close-up of Mars during a rare 2003 encounter between the Moon and Mars. (space.com)   (space.com)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!