When and Where to see Mars

At the bottom of this page we have links to pages for various areas around the world and the times that Mars will rise and transit (pass overhead.) Around the beginning of August Mars can be found above the eastern horizon after sunset. It is currently in the constellation Aquarius and in an area of few bright stars. Mars is easy to spot, as it's the brightest object in the night sky.

Mars begins August at magnitude -2.3 and is therefore very easy to spot. During the month, it will continue to brighten to -2.9 by August 29th. After that, Mars will slowly begin to fade throughout September and October.

click on image for larger version

The two star maps here are identical except that one shows the constellation figures and the other doesn't. Use whichever you find easier. Click on the images for larger versions.

Allow Mars to rise further above the horizon before you start viewing, at least a few hours. The higher Mars is in the sky, the clearer it will be for viewing. By all means, make every effort to get a good set of binoculars or a telescope to see Mars as this is a once in a lifetime event. If you have a local astronomy club there's a fair chance they may have a night set up for the public to come see Mars through their members telescopes. Another option is if you have an observatory nearby, they may have a public viewing night. For more information, you could try the astronomy department of your nearest university.

In another area we have information about specific Martian features for you to look for. This section is to help you locate Mars in the sky, and to list rising and transit times for Mars around the world.

Rising and Transit Times For:

Central America and Mexico
Middle East
South America
United States

Close Encounters of the Martian Kind

What is an opposition?

Why will Mars be larger than usual and this event so rare?

Where and When to see Mars!

Timeline for Mars in 2003/2004 - What to Look for on the Red Planet!

Close Encounters of a Red Kind: Retrograde Motion of Mars

Mars through a Telescope: Getting the Most from the Red Planet

The Martian Sky: Stargazing from the Red Planet

More about Mars the planet

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Kathy Miles, Author, and Chuck Peters, Systems Administrator
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