Today Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been for 11 years today.
At 4:35 p.m. Monday, Mars will be 46,762,695 miles away. Mars will be a bright yellowish-orange and easily visible in the Southeast sky right after dark. The Red Planet will remain visible through most of the night.
Mars has been prominent in the night sky in recent weeks as it reached its time of opposition – the point when it appears directly opposite the Sun as seen from Earth.
Mars will be just part of a broader celestial show tonight. It will form a triangle of points in the sky with Saturn and the red supergiant star Antares. To find Antares, look below Mars by about the width of your fist at arm’s length. If Antares is still too low, wait a while and everything will rise higher. Antares is fainter but it also has a fiery color.
If you miss this year’s close approach, Earth and Mars will be even closer on July, 31 2018. They’ll come about 35.8 million miles from each other.