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August 28, 2287

On this date, 284 years from now, Mars will again be as close as it is today. As David Grinspoon wrote in Tuesday’s New York Times, “On that night, will our descendants see city lights dotting the surface of Mars, or of Earth through their backyard telescopes?” No one reading these words will be around to see. So perhaps it’s worth stepping outside one of these nights to have a look. More:

“The last time Mars came this close, there were no cities. Human beings were brand new to this planet. The last folks to see such a sight lived nearly 60,000 years ago. Neanderthals walked in Europe then, but most of us might still have been in Africa. Here’s this week’s Hubble photograph of the red planet.

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