While Mars and Earth are close to each other over the next month or two, look toward the east within a couple hours after sunset and you'll see Mars. Mars will be brighter and have a more reddish glow than the stars.
Want a closer look? Many astronomy clubs have public events planned to share views of Mars through their telescopes.
Your child might even be inspired to pursue a career in astronomy. Steve and Dawn Knight of the Flint River Astronomy Club of Georgia report that a group of young Girl Scouts and their parents were fascinated by telescopic views of Mars: "One little girl said it was nice but she wanted to see the whole thing. I pointed out that she was seeing the whole thing and she said, 'No, I want to see it from there. I want to be on Mars'." By the time she's an adult, we may be sending astronauts to Mars - she could be one of them!
You might also have the opportunity to take a grand tour of the night sky! Through the telescopes, view:
- Objects in our Solar System: the Moon, the Sun, other planets.
- Objects in our Milky Way Galaxy: clouds of gas and dust where new stars are forming, young stars, old stars, other stars that have planets!
- Other galaxies outside of our Galaxy, like our neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy!