NASA'S Mars Launch & How to Spot Mars in November 2011<p>
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, sealed inside its payload fairing atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, clears the tower at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Photo: NASA/Bill White

Hello Stargazers!

NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft with the Curiosity rover on November 26, 2011. Curiosity has 10 science instruments to search for evidence about whether Mars had environments favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life. Find out more about the launch and the rover in this article. You might also like Jet Propulsion Laboratory's videos Mars in a Minute: Is Mars Really Red? and What's Up November: Mars Launch & Planet Magnetospheres.

How to Spot Mars in November 2011

Mars rises late in the evening, around 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. standard time. Use Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, to spot Mars during November. Read EarthSky's November 2011 guide to the five visible planets for details and observing tips.

Find a club in your area and find star parties and astronomy clubs on your iPhone using Go StarGaze. Join the NASA Night Sky Network stargazing community on Facebook and Twitter.

Wishing you clear skies and happy stargazing!