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Moon to eclipse Mars tonight

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Lunar conjunction comes as Mars gains brilliant brightness.

The Caribbean skies will host a rare spectacle tonight when the Moon eclipses Mars. The event comes as a prelude to the red planet's closest Earth approach in 60,000 years.

Onlookers in Florida, Central America and northwestern South America should see the bright red dot of Mars disappear behind the Moon's much larger disc in the early hours of Thursday morning.

In Panama City the effect - called an occultation - will last around 90 minutes. Viewers elsewhere will see a shorter eclipse. In Miami, for example, Mars will disappear at 4:14 am EDT, reappearing 27 minutes later.

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