Today the planet Mars is a mere 35.8 million miles away! We’ve been viewing Mars every clear night for the past week, and while it appears fairly large and bright in our telescopes, there’s not much detail to see because there’s also a very large dust storm that covers most of the red planet. That storm began as the Martian atmosphere heated up, when Mars’ elliptical orbit brought it closer to the sun. The storm looks to be dying down now, and we’ll be watching it again tonight, weather permitting. Some good news: first, we’ll be able to see Mars in our evening sky for several more months, so we may get to see some of its surface features in the weeks to come. Also, we have great views of Jupiter and Saturn, so come out to Indian River State College’s Hallstrom Planetarium in Fort Pierce tonight, starting at 8 pm, for a free look at what’s up there, courtesy of the Treasure Coast Astronomical Society.