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Mars, the Moon & Christmas Eve

I’m finally surfacing from a month of intense work demands! And not too soon because today’s the winter solstice. This morning I read a wonderful article in my local paper about the fact that Mars will be unusually bright this Christmas Eve and there will be a full Moon. Why?According to Jack Horkheimer, a planetarium director and host of public television show “Star Gazer: Because Mars will be directly opposite the Sun, reflecting the most light, and fairly close to Earth, only 55.5 million miles away. The full Moon will appear nearby, rising about an hours later. In honor of the event, Horkheimer wrote these lyrics in honor of the event. Sing them to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer”

Mars is a red-tinged planet With a very shiny glow And if you look to see it You will find the Moon in tow.

All of the other Yuletides Santa would have at his side The shiny nose of Rudoph Acting as his big sleigh’s guide

But this very Christmas Eve Santa came to say; Rudolph, now with Mars so bright, You can stay at home tonight.

Then all the reindeer teased him. And they shouted out with glee: “Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer Outsourced to astronomy.”

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