Mars continues to put on a great show these November evenings. Although the Red Planet officially reached opposition way back in July, it has remained one of the most conspicuous sights in the night sky ever since.
Tonight, Mars appears nearly 40° above the southern horizon once darkness falls, and the Red Planet sets in the west-southwest about 30 minutes before midnight local time.
The world shines at magnitude –0.2, brighter than any other early evening object save for the Moon, against the faint backdrop of Aquarius the Water-bearer.
Though the Red Planet is visible with the naked eye tonight, binoculars make the task much easier, and they also highlight the pale pink hue of the distant dot. However, even binoculars will not show you all Mars has to offer. For that, you’ll need a telescope.
A telescope reveals a disk that spans 10″ and some subtle martian surface features.
For more quick observing tips, check out our weekly guide: The sky this week for November 16 to 25.