NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this snapshot of Mars 11 hours before the planet made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years. This image was made from a series of exposures taken between 6:20 p.m. and 7:12 p.m. EDT Aug. 26, with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.
People line up to get a chance to view Mars at the Sydney Observatory, Aug. 27, 2003, in Sydney, Australia. (Blur caused by time exposure.)
Kazuyoshi Sugimoto, 10, looks into a telescope for a 20-second glimpse of Mars at Tokyo's National Science Museum, Aug. 27, 2003. A total of 200 people were allowed at the museum to get a chance to observe a closer view of the Red Planet. Mars won't be as close to the Earth again until Aug. 28, 2287.
Mars is seen in the night sky over the coastline at Corona del Mar state beach in Newport Beach, Calif., Aug. 25, 2003, at 5:00 a.m. PT.
Thousands of people gathered for a Mars viewing party on the lawn of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, Aug. 26, 2003.
Hannah Krolick, 8, looks through a telescope with the help of her mother, Helen Krolick, on the lawn of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, Aug. 26, 2003.
A telescope was mounted on top of a Volvo for the Mars viewing party on the lawn of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, Aug. 26, 2003.
Rich Bonomo, staff engineer with the department of astronomy at University of Wisconsin at Madison, lines up the telescope at the Washburn Observatory in Madison, Wis., for public viewing of the planet Mars, Aug. 26, 2003.
Chris Lin and his daughter, Tiffany Lin, view an exhibit about Mars at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, Calif., Aug. 26, 2003. Heavy fog kept visitors from viewing the planet when it made its closest encounter to Earth that night.
Waiting to see Mars, revelers dressed in "Star Wars" costumes stand outside an observatory at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, Calif., Aug. 26, 2003. Heavy fog kept visitors, including Ian Heibert, left, J.C. Vallacqua, center, and Chris James, from viewing the planet.
Visitors to the Rogers Observatory at Northwestern Michigan College wait to view the planet Mars using an 11-inch Celestron telescope, Aug. 23, 2003, in Traverse City, Mich.
Astronomers Jim Bell, left, from Cornell University, and Mike Wolff, from the Space Science Institute, review photographs of the planet Mars taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, Aug. 26, 2003, at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
Delaney Hiller, right, of Atwater, Calif., views Mars through a huge telescope provided by Merced astronomer Richard Cloak, Aug. 22, 2003, at Challenge Learning Center in Atwater, Calif.
A viewer looks at Mars through a 60-inch telescope at Mount Wilson, Calif., Aug. 24, 2003.
Mars, bottom left, is seen with the Moon from Haebaru in Okinawa prefecture, southern Japan, Aug. 13, 2003.
John Gasper checks the sight on his reflector telescope, Aug. 22, 2003, at the Challenge Learning Center in Atwater, Calif., as Mars came up on the eastern horizon.
Matthew Ota, of Orange County, Calif., looks at Mars through his telescope, Aug. 23, 2003, at Mount Wilson, Calif.