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Close encounter

Where do I look to find Mars? Look for an unusually bright orange star in the eastern sky. As the sun sets in the west, Mars rises in the east.

What do I need to get a better look at the planet? Any telescope will work. For decent detail, use a 6-inch f/8 reflector telescope or a 4-inch refractor model. Binoculars won't show you anything more than a bright orange dot.

What features should I look for? With a small telescope, you should be able to see Hellas, a bright impact basin; some dark features, like Syrtis Major and Mare Erythraeum and one of Mars' polar caps.

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