Fourth Planet from the Sun - Mars

Mars is the next planet out from Earth. It gets bright enough to notice only when we are between it and the Sun. Mars has very little clouds to make it brighter and it is a lot smaller than earth. Even so when Mars does get close you can see the polar ice caps and markings. Mars is one of the more interesting planets to view. To find Mars you will have to have an update star map showing where Mars is. Then look in that part of the sky for a pinkish looking bright star. If you know the stars in that area it will be the one that does not belong to the constellation and if watched over several nights you should notice it moves in relation to those other stars.

Because the planets are always moving, in relation to the stars around them, there is no way I can point you directly to them without providing monthlyor bi-monthly starmaps. Even so you can still find Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn due to there brightness. It will help to get a copy of Astronomy or Sky & Telescope magazine for the present month to know where, when, and if these planets are visible.
These magazines provide monthly sky charts showing the planets. A free software program called Home Planet can be very useful for finding Planets. It can be down loaded by following the above link.

Created: 5/30/00 Updated: 5/30/00