Skywatchers in Western Europe looking in the southern sky at dusk on Thursday, 18 October can see the 9-day-old waxing gibbous Moon close to the upper left of Mars, the pair fitting comfortably in the same field of view of typical binoculars. This is also a good night for spotting some prominent martian features telescopically – seeing permitting!
Bright, frosty polar caps, and clouds above a vivid, rust-coloured landscape reveal Mars as a dynamic seasonal planet in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope view taken on 12 May 2016, when Mars was 50 million miles from Earth. The image reveals details as small as 20 to 30 miles across. On 30 May, Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years.