05/30/2016 – Ephemeris – Mars is closest to the Earth of this go around today
Ephemeris for Memorial Day, Monday, May 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 9:20, and will rise tomorrow at 6:00. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 3:21 tomorrow morning.
Mars is the closest it gets to the Earth in this go-around today. Mars is the next planet out from the Sun. Earth is number 3 and Mars is number 4. Mars has a much more eccentric orbit than the Earth and varies from 128 million miles (207 million km) at its closest to the Sun, called perihelion to 155 million miles (249 million km) at aphelion. So at closest approach of Mars to the Earth the nearest distance can vary by nearly 30 million miles (42 million km). Mars moves slower in its orbit than does the Earth, taking 687 Earth days to orbit the Sun. That’s about 1 year, 10 ½ months. We catch up to Mars every 26 months or so, in a different part of its orbit. This time it will close to 46.7 million miles (75.2 million km) today.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.