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It’s a great time to get a close-up look at Mars, even if you don’t have a telescope.
The red planet is closer to Earth than it has been for 11 years: On May 30, Mars will be about 46.8 million miles (75.3 million kilometers) from Earth. Yes, that’s still a long way off, but sometimes Mars is 249 million miles (400 million kilometers) from Earth.
What does this close approach mean for sky watchers? It means Mars will appear bigger and brighter until June 3, according to NASA.
You don’t need a telescope or binoculars to see Mars as it moves in for its close-up. In fact, you’ll probably be able to find it without a star chart or an astronomy app.
In the United States, the best time to look for Mars during its close approach will be around midnight Eastern time, according to NASA. It will be the brightest “star” that you’ll see in the southeastern sky and it will appear a bit reddish.