A close encounter with Mars NASA Science

The Red Planet makes its nearest approach to Earth in 1999 this week and next. “Once in about every fifteen years a startling visitant makes his appearance upon our midnight skies,–a great red star that … mounting higher with the deepening night, blazes forth against the dark background of space with a splendor that outshines Sirius and rivals the giant Jupiter himself.” — from Mars by Percival Lowell (1895)