This is approaching season represents the best time to observe Mars, as the Red Planet is closest to us in April and rises in the east as the Sun
sets opposite to it in the west. Mars reaches 10” in apparent size this week. Mars is already beginning to show surface detail through a moderate-sized telescope as it continues to grow. In mid-February, Mars currently rises at around midnight local, and rides high to the south at local sunrise.
It’s also worth noting that Mars sits within four degrees of the rising Moon on the evening
of April 14th. The bright star Spica also sits even closer to the Full Moon on the same evening, at less than two degrees away. This particular evening is also noteworthy as it hosts the first of two lunar eclipses for 2014, both of which favor North America.