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Don't forget to look up to the sky today, fellow astronomers, friends, and noders. Today, on 05:51 EDT, planet Mars will be in the closest point to Earth in a period of 73,000 years. It will outshine all of the other planets (except Moon and Venus), and will appear brighter than ever, allowing for a best viewing opportunity.

Mars will get within a distance of 55,746,199 kilometers of Earth (34,646,488 miles for the SI-challenged). Mars is in its perihelion and Earth is in its aphelion.

reference: http://www.space.com/spacewatch/mars_preview_021108.html

Update (August 28, 2003): Here are some links about the recorded event: