SUMMARY: On August 27, 2003 the Planet Mars will be a mere 55.76 million kilometres away from the Earth - the closest it's been in 50,000 years. Visible in the early morning, Mars is the brightest object in the sky, after the Moon and Venus, and almost any small telescope will be able to show details on the planet's surface. Make sure you enjoy Mars' close approach this summer, as it won't make another visit this close for nearly 300 years.

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