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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