Did you know that we can see surface detail on Mars with even a small telescope?
During most of October, 2020, Mars rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. It is now (after the sun and moon) the brightest object in the sky and noticeably pinkish!
Mars’ orbit is somewhat elliptical (egg-shaped), meaning that about every two years or so, Mars comes closer to the Earth, becoming both brighter and larger in visual appearance if looking through a telescope.
Some of these close approaches are better than others. This year, on October 6, Mars is closer to us than it will be for the next 15 years, so get out and do some planet-gazing in the autumn air!