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Sunday Science: Sky-watching events this month - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sunday Science: Sky-watching events this month

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VERMONT -

Get ready for Moon TV. The Science and Discovery Channel says it will be televising Google's Lunar X-Prize. That's a $30 million competition that challenges private companies to land an unmanned craft on the moon by the end of next year. Any craft is going to have to travel 500 meters on the planet and send live pictures back to Earth.

But if you want to see something from your own backyard this week...

Mars is going to shine so brightly in the sky that it'll be easy to see, even in urban areas. On Tuesday, April 8, the Red Planet is going to be in a straight line with the Earth and the Sun. It happens every 26 months. Even though Mars will be visible to the naked eye, the polar caps and other Martian features will be easy to spot with some assistance. On Monday, April 14, Mars and the Earth will at their closest.

And also next week on April 15, there will be a total lunar eclipse.The full moon will be completely caught in Earth's shadow. As it starts, the moon will gradually appear to become a rusty red color. We're in luck -- if you're on the East Coast of North or South America you'll have the best view of this eclipse, which is expected to last about 80 minutes.

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