Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Soon, Mars will be ours!!

I just got a sensational email! It said... The Red Planet is about to be Spectacular!!! Can you wait??? I can't! Apparently Earth and Mars are about to be closer together than they ever have in recorded history. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I have absolutely no ability to comprehend anything in the least bit "science-y", but this does sound pretty rad. The next time something like this may happen would be 2287 at the earliest. Okay, you know what? I am so unable to rephrase anything technical or science-y or anything that I'm just going to start cutting and pasting this email text:

Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the Last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again. The encounter will culminate on August 27th whenMars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification... Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month. Share this with your children and grandchildren. NO ONE ALIVE TODAY WILL EVER SEE THIS AGAIN

And I must say, I'm really glad I copied and pasted because one of my favorite things about these email forwards is the way people get really excited about the use of different fonts, colors and sizes. And I'm glad I could convey the author's excitement about the approach of the red planet by sharing his exuberance via his font choices.

So, in conclusion...
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay SPACE!

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