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  I'm planning a close encounter with Mars
Updated 22 August 2003, 11.19
It's National Astronomy Week from 23-30 August 2003.

During the Week Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth for thousands of years.

In his report Junior astronomer Grahame tells us he's looking forward to seeing the red planet close up.

"On 27 August 2003 Mars will come within 34 million miles of the Earth, breaking its normal distance of 56 million miles.

To celebrate this astronomical event, one which hasn't occurred for over 60,000 years and won't be seen again until 2287, groups and organisations all over the country are planning astronomical activities for the public to take part in.

One such group is South Tyneside Junior Astronomical Society, of which I am a member.

Making rockets

As a junior astronomer we meet up once a week, look through telescopes and learn about the constellations.

We also get to make our very own rockets!

Buying a telescope to see Mars
Buying a telescope to see Mars
All throughout National Astronomy Week South Tyneside College will play host to the National Astronomy Week Exhibition.


This will be a change for young and old to come together and take part in activities ranging from making a 'button comet' to blowing up a volcano!

The probes Beagle 2, Spirit and Opportunity are on their way to land on Mars; I doubt we'll be able to get that close in the near future.

But coming to South Tyneside in the coming weeks might get you a little closer."

Grahame, 14, South Shields

If anyone, anywhere in the world would like a free 'Moon Calendar' or any astronomical information please send a large SAE to:

The Planetarium
South Tyneside College
St George's Avenue
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE34 6ET

Why don't you write us a Press Pack report - and get it published on the site?!

It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.

More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutAnimated guide to the ISS
Find OutYour guide to Beagle 2
VoteVote on people in space
QuizCheck out our Mars quiz
ClubWriting and sending your report


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Mars closer to Earth than ever before
US scientists discover fault on Mars robot
UK school kids speak to astronaut in space


BBC Links
Find out more with Blue Peter
More on Mars from Norfolk Kids site


Web Links
National Astronomy Week
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.



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