Dust off your telescope and prepare for a spectacular viewing opportunity of Mars in the night sky. The Earth will fly between the sun and Mars on April 8, 2014, and, for the several weeks around that time, Mars will be rising in the east when the sun is setting in the west. Mars will be at its brightest and best fiery red color.
Now is a good time to start watching for Mars in the night sky. Mars will look like a bright red star, although it shines with a steadier light than the twinkling stars. Mars rises in the east at mid-to-late evening. By the time April rolls around, Mars will be shining from dusk till dawn.
Make note on April 13 and April 14 on your calendar. A bright waxing gibbous moon will pair up with the red planet on the night of April 13-14; the totally eclipsed full moon will couple up with Mars on the night of April 14-15.
Mars with its mysterious dark markings and a white polar cap will be easily visible in April’s night sky. Image Credit: NASA