Mars February, 2018 ⬅︎
Mars' appearance in our sky varies greatly depending on how far it is from us. When Mars is close, it appears large, bright and a deep orange-red color. A telescope may reveal surface features, polar icecaps and moons. This time is known as opposition because Mars and the sun are on opposite sides of the earth. Mars is visible all night long.

When Mars is far from us, it appears smaller, dimmer and less colorful. It can be hard to distinguish Mars from a star and a telescope is unlikely to reveal details. Mars may only be visible for part of the night or not at all.

Mars goes through its cycle in our sky every 26 months and stargazers eagerly await each opposition.
Viewing Mars in February, 2018
LevelEasyRatingBest ViewingAll month, before sunrise
FindMars is out all month in the morning hours before sunrise. Look S for its orange-red color.
Mars is getting brighter each night as it approaches opposition on July 27, 2018. On the 9th Mars will pass the red supergiant star Antares that is often confused for Mars (see above).
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