Science: A Close Look

Those astronomers who specialize in planetary lore are enjoying a treat since Mars is now at its closest point to the earth. The actual date of nearest approach is Aug. 23. At this time the planet is only 35 million miles away as against a possible distance of about 63 million miles when the two planets are at opposite sides of their orbits. These approaches, such as the present, occur every 26 months or so, but there is a variation of some 2 million miles in the nearness depending on what part of their eliptical orbits the two planets may be...

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