A huge night for stargazers is nearly here: On Monday evening (April 14), Mars will make its closest approach to Earth in six years, just ahead of a total eclipse of the moon.
Mars will be at its closest to Earth since 2008 when the Red Planet comes within 57.4 million miles (92.4 million km) of our planet. While that close approach occurs during the daytime, at 8:53 a.m. EDT (1253 GMT), Mars will rise later in the southeastern night sky and shine throughout Monday evening as a sort of night sky preview for the first total lunar eclipse of 2014 early Tuesday (April 15).
You can watch live webcasts of Mars and the total lunar eclipse on Space.com, courtesy of the Slooh community telescope, NASA and the Virtual Telescope project. The Slooh Mars webcast will begin at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 April 15 GMT), with several lunar eclipse webcasts following at 2 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) on Tuesday.