On April 8th, Earth will soar between the Sun and Mars. When it does, the Red Planet will reach what astronomers call "opposition" in the night sky. Just a few days later, Earth will be closer to Mars than it's been in more than six years – and during a total lunar eclipse! Here's how to watch.
Once roughly every two years and two months is the Mars opposition, when Mars and Earth line up in their revolutions around the sun. This is a rare opportunity to see Mars as it makes its closest approach to the Earth. It's time for some amateur space porn.
In 1924, Earth saw its closest Mars opposition in over a century, and some thought our Martian neighbors might use the event to attempt contact. So for one night, US Naval and Army stations scanned the skies for extraterrestrial transmissions.