In August of 2010, the planet Mars will become spectacular. Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close to Earth is in 2287. Due to 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. It may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again. The encounter will culminate on August 27 in the year 2010 when Mars comes to within 34, 649, 589 miles of Earth and will be next to the moon, the brightest object in the 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, Mars will rise in the east at 10pm and reach its azimuth at about 3am. By the end of August, when Earth and Mars are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30am. It is something that no human being has seen in recorded history. Mark your calendar if you wish to see Mars grow brighter and brighter throughout the month of August. No one alive right now will ever see this again.
updated by @bluecrystalangel: 01/22/17 07:15:55AM