Earth and Mars will come as close as they desire in Wednesday’s wee hours during a historical event that has captivated the attention of skywatchers around the globe. The two planets will be separated by 34,646,418 million miles at 5:51 a.m. ET. Not since the Neanderthals shared this planet with early humans have the two worlds been so close. . . . WHERE TO LOOK Mars rises in the southeast around sunset, your local time, shimmering like an orange star so bright it could momentarily be mistaken for an airliner on final approach. It outshines all other stars in the sky. Around 1 a.m. Mars is due south and high in the sky. It sets in the southwest at about sunrise. No equipment is necessary to observe Mars closer than has any human in the past 59,619 years. But the best views are afforded through telescopes, which can reveal surface markings, the south polar ice cap and clouds.
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