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Post Info TOPIC: January 2010


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Blue Moon and Mars as seen from Singtam, Sikkim

Today was a Blue Moon, a word more popular in phrases, as we often say once in a blue moon. A blue moon simply nothing but when two full moons fell in the same calendar month, an event that usually occurred every 2½ years, indeed a rare occasion.
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This weekend, on Friday January 29th, the beautiful red planet, Mars, will be high in the sky and will be placed extremely close to the Moon for one night only as it makes its cosmic orbit by our planet - a mesmerising sight to behold.
As well as Mars being close to the Moon on the 29th, there will be a Full Moon on the 30th, which also happens to be the closest and largest Full Moon of the year.

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Like the glowing eye of an alligator illuminated by a spotlight, the planet Mars will shine coldly in the night sky tonight, brighter than it's been for two years.
That's because the red planet will be in opposition for the first time since Dec. 24, 2007.

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The Moon and Mars at 3:20 UT, 30th January, 2010

moonMars-2010-1-30-3h20b.gif
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Abu Dhabi: People all over the world who observe stars and planets enjoyed a special phenomenon on Wednesday  night.
From the UAE, telescopic viewing and astrophotography was possible.
Mars, the Red Planet came closest to the earth at the UAE time 10 :44 pm , reducing the distance between the two plants up to 99.3 million kilometres, Nazar Sallam, the head of the Emirates Mobile Astronomical Observer  and the member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS) told Gulf News.

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Blue moon and Mars cast a spell

On Saturday, both a blue moon and Mars, the red planet, will be visible. An astronomy educator, Andrew Jacob, from the Sydney Observatory said the moon would still be white rather than blue.
A blue moon simply meant that two full moons fell in the same calendar month, an event that usually occurred every 2½ years, he said.

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mars3.gif

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Mars is zooming in for a close approach to Earth this week, offering backyard astronomers their best views of the red planet until 2014.
For the past few months Mars has appeared at night as a ruddy, starlike beacon rising in the east.
On January 27 Mars will pass within 98 million kilometres of Earth - close enough for well-equipped sky-watchers to make out details on the Martian surface.

"With a small telescope of about 6 inches (15.2 centimetres), the polar ice caps and other surface features are visible" - Raminder Singh, staff astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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