The Closeness of Mars
June 2003 - August 2003
by Joe Rao
On Aug. 27, 2003, Mars will be less than 34.65 million miles (55.76 million kilometers) away --
closer to our planet than itís been in nearly 60,000 years. The view will be stupendous. Track
Marsí growing brightness with SPACE.com's exclusive Mars viewing maps and charts, updated
Mars in June, 2003: Mars rises around 1 a.m. local daylight time at the start of June, but by
month's end it will be coming up above the east-southeast horizon before midnight. Until Venus
comes up, this topaz-hued planet outshines every other star like object once it climbs above
the horizon hazes.
Finding the Red Planet: Mars, the Roman God of War, is now easy to find using these maps. It is
the unmistakable beacon of the eastern pre-dawn sky. Look for it low in the southeast after
1 a.m. and higher, toward the south, at daybreak. It will be the last point of light in that
part of the sky to be drowned out by the Sun each morning.