The Planet Mars will be visible in the eastern sky tonight

Moon, Saturn & Mars alingnment

Saturn, Mars, Regulus, and the Moon in line (2009) via steviesteves on Flickr

The night of March 3rd marks the “opposition” of Mars – the time when the planet is directly opposite the sun and Earth will pass between the two. The opposition will happen around 11pm EST, and that is also when you can tune in to the live webcast from the SLOOH robotic telescope, which will be pointed at Mars.

To view the planet yourself, find a location with a clear view of the eastern sky and use this sky chart to trace your way using some bright stars and the constellation Leo.

Even though the opposition occurs tonight, the actual closest pass that Mars will make to Earth will be on the 5th of March, when Mars will only be 62.6 million miles from Earth. Because it is so close, it will be the 4th brightest star-like object in the sky.