Sky & Telescope November 2005 81
in august 2003 the Red Planet made an unusually close
approach to Earth. As noted in that year's June issue of Sky
& Telescope (page 94), Mars had not come this close to our
home planet in recorded history, nor would it again be as
close for nearly three centuries. How did astronomers know
this? Did they calculate the distance of Mars for every single
day between now and August 28, 2287?