See Mars at Its Best and Brightest, Live on the Web

Image: Mars in 2012
This picture of Mars during its close approach to Earth in 2012 was taken by Sean Walker, Sky & Telescope's imaging editor, with a 12.5-inch Newtonian telescope.Sean Walker / Sky & Telescope

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Mars is literally at center stage on Tuesday night, and you can watch the show on the Web.

The Slooh online observatory is offering a free live feed from its telescope on the Canary Islands starting at 10 p.m. ET, featuring the Red Planet at opposition. That's the time when Mars lines up so that it's directly opposite from the sun as seen from Earth. Such an alignment occurs every 26 months.

The live stream will be accompanied by discussions about Mars and missions to the Red Planet, led by Slooh host and astronomer Bob Berman. Viewers can tune in via, YouTube or the Slooh iPad app, and ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #Mars.

This month provides some of the best opportunities to see Mars at its biggest and brightest, thanks to its position relative to Earth. Mars has a close encounter with Earth on April 14, coming as near as 57 million miles (92 million kilometers). For more about Mars, check out our viewing guide.