|Position of Mars in early July|
But these milestones are just the highlights that punctuate the journey. In fact, looking out each night at Mars is quite wonderful, seeing it shifting its position along the ecliptic, illuminating the pathway of the planets, Sun and Moon across the zodiac band in our night sky. I point this out to guests at the California Academy of Sciences when I give talks there during NightLife each Thursday, and this is one of the most inspiring things people discover as they look up in the sky with me -- that they can actually see the motion of Solar System objects by just looking up and paying attention to what they see.
If you want to learn more about Mars, and the upcoming landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, check out the Night Sky Network page called "We're Mad About Mars!"
Image courtesy of SkySafari.