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(Photo from www.astronomy.ie

The sky is fascinating in general, but even if you're not an astronomy buff, it's been fun to see Jupiter, Venus and later on, Mars these days because they are so easy to see. 

The Irish have an active astronomy group called Astronomy Ireland with a website and here's what they say about Mars:

"Tonight's the night! 
Giant telescopes will be set up across Ireland tonight at 8pm to show the planet Mars which is now closer to Earth than it will be for two years!
 
At the Mars Watch, Astronomy Ireland is setting up telescopes at locations around the country to give the general public an opportunity to see for themselves the planet that has captured humankind's imagination for years.
 
David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, spoke on Newstalk and East Coast FM about the Mars Watch, and will appear on further shows throughout the day. You can listen to these interviews and others at www.astronomy.ie/audio
 
Already Mars can be seen with the naked eye as a brilliant 'star' with a definite red colour.  But in the powerful telescopes it will be possible to see surface features like the white north polar ice cap and the dark markings that many thought were canals about 100 years ago when Mars came even closer to Earth sparking all the stories of intelligent Martians which are now such a prominent feature of science fiction stories about aliens."

We talk about earth skills here at Zoobird in general and planting by phases of the moon specifically. Look at any Farmer's Almanac and you'll see statements that root vegetable seeds germinate better when planted at the full moon. Fact? That's the qualification you'll ask for if you come from a scientific background. Do you read farmer's almanacs? What do you think about their credibility?

Mars is closer tonight to the earth these days than it will be for the next two years. Astronomy Ireland points out that tonight it will be easier to see the polar snow cap than usual. So, without getting too involved, and I know we all don't have time to devote to a passionate study of astronomy, tonight is a chance to see some fact, because ask yourself: what does snow indicate? Water! And, water is the essence of life. Knowledge that Mars may have water had led "earthlings" to speculate that there may be life on mars. 
So, it's fun to peer up at the sky and see the polar ice cap on Mars for yourself. Or, just take our word for it. Fun times here in this beautiful world we are fortunate to inhabit. 
Enjoy, and please let us know what you think. 

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