Martian Meeting

“The God of War approacheth as the Sun doth rise, and thou shalt know that the morrow bringeth the Conclave Draconic.”

marsYes, dear reader, this year’s Dragon*Con has been presaged by an event of truly astronomical import. The planet Mars, the bloody red orb, the planet in the solar system closest to ours, is closer to Earth than it has been in approximately 60,000 years and closer than it will be for another two centuries. So, unless you are one of the many immortal species from the planet Jebrox, it’s something of a once in a lifetime event. And, if you are from the planet Jebrox, may I be among the first to welcome you to our humble planet, Sir or Madame?  Please don’t kill us.

Beyond any astrological or extra-terrestrial navigational significance, perhaps the most noticeable effect is that Mars is really, really, and I mean really bright. While it was at its brightest on Wednesday morning, it should still be clearly visible as a reddish colored “star” in the night sky above Atlanta, as long as all those pesky clouds and buildings stay out of the way. It’ll be at magnitude –2.9 through September 2nd, which means only the Moon and the planet Venus will be brighter.

So, as you take the time to visit the many late night events here at Dragon*Con, you might want to take a moment to step out and sneak a peek at the celestial show going on overhead.

Author of the article

Moscow, Innsbruck, Cairo, Tokyo, New Delhi, Santiago: these are just some of the far-flung places and exotic locales where you will not find Paul J. Iutzi. Instead, you must seek out the little known hamlet of Normal, Illinois, where he lives on a vast, perhaps even palatial, estate, spending most of his time dodging the owners and their dog Chambrié. Between escapades of astounding interest, he manages to find time to both write what will in later generations be seen as the greatest works of the English language since Brother Michael of Sashay-upon-the-Wabe first split the infinitive during that heady spring of 812 A.D.