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Interactive star chart showing the position of Mars and how to locate Mars in the sky. Online Planetarium Our Online Planetarium allows to compute the coordinates of planets, comets and asteroids and visualize them in the sky with respect to stars and constellations.
Mars Close Approach is July 31, 2018. That is the point in Mars' orbit when it comes closest to Earth. Mars will be at a distance of 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers). Mars reaches its highest point around midnight -- about 35 degrees above the southern horizon, or one third of the distance between the horizon and overhead.
Mars is one of the five planets visible in the sky with the naked eye. Because Mars is red, it is particularly distinctive. To find it in the sky, you can pick up the current month’s copy of “Astronomy” or “Sky and Telescope” magazine; a sky map is on the center pages of both magazines.
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, orbiting at a distance of 1.52 AU once every 687 days. It is our neighbour in the solar system, orbiting just outside the Earth's orbit, and is a small planet – the second smallest in the solar system after Mercury, measuring 53% of an Earth-width in diameter.
As Mars begins to appear in the dawn sky from mid-Southern latitudes, the Red Planet reaches aphelion (its most distant point from the Sun) on October 7th, at a distance of 1.666 AU (249.2 million kms or 154.8 million miles). It enters the constellation of Virgo, the Virgin, five days later on October 12th.
In their outward order from the sun, the five bright planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These planets actually do appear bright in our sky.