The Red Planet is at its closest point to Earth tonight, a mere 54.7 million miles away. But viewing of Mars gets more exciting next week – December 24th to be exact – when the planet will be in opposition to Earth, an occurrence that happens every two years.
However, this year, because Mars is so close to Earth, it will appear larger and brighter than it has since 2003. Christmas Eve will also be the best viewing of Mars between now and 2016. Mars can be seen between Gemini and Taurus, which are generally located just to the north of an eastern heading, sitting in the lower half of the sky. Even in urban settings, the view should be quite good.