On Aug. 27, Mars and Earth will be closer to each other than at any other time in the last 50,000 years. Amateur astronomers with small backyard telescopes can already view features such as dust clouds, the southern polar ice cap (because the southern cap is tipped toward Earth), and volcanic terrain. This NASA Web page provides details about what can be seen.

Go to: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/07aug_southpole.htm?list110076

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