NASA holds a news conference to discuss the close encounter of Comet Siding Spring with Mars. On October 19, 2014, the comet will pass 139,500 kilometers (88,000 miles) from the red planet.
Observers should direct their gaze to the southern sky at dusk on Saturday, 12 January to view the 6-day-old waxing Moon in the constellation of Pisces. Look a little closer around 6pm GMT in the UK this night to see Mars as a magnitude +0.6 orange-coloured ‘star’ above the lunar crescent. If you own wide-angle 7× or 8× binoculars, you can see the Moon and Red Planet in the same field of view.