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by Jay Fienberg

Mars closest to Bay Area fog in 60,000 years

posted: Aug 28, 2003 1:35:04 PM

Last night, a group of my friends and I headed over to the Chabot Space Center in Oakland, where they have a telescope, to get a closer view of this historic conjunction of Mars and the Bay Area fog. We had an incredible view of the fog—one that really gave me shivers the way only true science can.

I have never been to Chabot before, and all I knew was that it was pretty high up in the Oakland hills. So, when I saw that all of San Francisco was fogged in, and then, once in the East Bay, that all of Oakland was fogged in, I still was a little worried that we would get up to the top of the hills and find that Chabot was actually above the fog line.

Fortunately, after making the trek all the way up the winding roads to the Chabot, we were delighted to see that the Chabot is, in fact, perfectly placed at what seems like the ideal location for fog exploration. I am not an expert on such matters and science is only a hobby of mine, but I would theorize that the Chabot was actually at the smack center, or at what we science buffs call the "epicenter", of the densest fog of the entire Bay Area.

Fog, the final frontier. It really is. I mean, we have astronauts with microscopes and deep sea divers with fillet knives, but the Chabot is really pioneering this new field of exploration into the unknown reaches of the Bay Area fog—and by extension, fog everywhere.

When we got up there to the Chabot, the fogonomers there seemed to be able to convincingly explain how the fog would totally obscure the view of Mars and every other star, planet, asteriod, centipede, pac man, etc. Amazing!

And, the fog up there was truly spectacular. It seemed so close that it was like I could touch it. Just thrilling!

So, next time you are in the Bay Area, be sure to head up to the Chabot. This month is unique with Mars being the closest to the fog in 60,000+ years, but I am sure that you can catch other amazing conjunctions between the fog and the planets at other times too.

Disclaimer: for anyone wanting to see Mars through the telescope at the Chabot, they were really nice and inviting people back on another night with a predicted clear sky view, and also giving people the option to use their tickets towards other attractions there. I plan to go back myself—it seems like a neat place.

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