Just How Close Is Mars?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Make sure you go outside and get a good look at Mars -- today marks the planet's closest encounter it's had with Earth in 60,000 years. As you read this, the Red Planet is a mere 34,646,418 miles away -- give or take a few miles.

You can find Mars at just about any point during the night -- it'll rise in the southeastern sky at about 9 p.m. and be rising across the southern sky. Just look for the bright red dot -- or better yet, grab some binoculars or a telescope for prime viewing.

Mars will be the brightest object in the sky though most of the night, as the moon is new and Venus and the bright star Sirius will be below the horizon.

Mars and Earth have similar ~34.6 million-mile close encounters every 79 years, but this encounter takes the prize by a nose.

Your Photos

YouNews Horse Show in Heritage Park Horse Show in Heritage Park
Photographed at the Andalusian/Lusitano Horse Show in Chilliwack, BC. Also being shown were some Friesian Horses.
YouNews Mercedes Ride Mercedes Ride
My neighbor with her dog in her convertable. She takes him up to a long term care home up in Delta, BC every Sunday to visit with the residents there.
YouNews Clear Skies Return Clear Skies Return
These images were taken Saturday night/Sunday morning.
The deep space images were taken with a 5 inch refractor
(APO) and a QSI imaging camera.