It’s prime time for seeing Mars and the moon

A global dust storm covers Mars’ disk in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope, captured on July 18. The planet’s two small moons, Deimos (left) and Phobos (right), appear in the lower half of the image. (NASA / ESA / STScI Photo)

It’s no hoax: Mars is bigger and brighter in the night sky than it’s been at any time since 2003. And you can watch the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

There are caveats, of course: The only way folks in North America can see Friday’s eclipse is to watch it online. And Mars won’t look anywhere near as big as the moon, despite what’s been claimed in a hoax that dates back to, um, 2003.

Nevertheless, this weekend’s astronomical double-header is not to be missed.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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