“I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain’t bad.”
No, this article is not about that horrible 1996 movie “Mars Attacks” – which had a star-studded cast but could not deliver on any level. This is about how incredibly amazing space is and the appreciation we need to have for the near future. Mars, which for those of you who did not remember from their 3rd grade science class, is Earth’s neighbor. Recent speculation suggests that Mars may have hosted life before Earth.
Anyways, that’s neither here nor there. Mars is coming! Well, not quite. On May 30, the Red Planet will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years with a measurable distance of about 46.8 million miles. To put some perspective on how close Mars will be, the two planets can occasionally measure 249 million miles apart.
For those star gazers and people who have a passing interest in occasionally looking upwards, Mars will be visible without the aid of a telescope. The approach will be most visible around midnight towards the southeast. To no surprise, the planet will have a reddish hue, providing distinction from those other white, boring stars.
If you get the opportunity, please take a look up. Even though astronomy may be boring to some, it’s important to appreciate those occasions that stretch the imagination. You will only have a couple more opportunities in the near future to see Mars in person. This month, and again in July of 2018. If you miss your chance, buying a high-powered telescope may be the only other way. Mars is not projected to be this close again until the year 2287.
By then, the little Martians may have taken over our government. But as long as we have two of the three branches, that ain’t bad.
Thanks to IMDB for the quote, and CNN for the story and details.