The Mars Close Approach is currently in process, and you may have caught a nice bright view of Mars last night. But the fourth rock from the sun, and possible attacking planet if that 1996 documentary Mars Attacks! wasn't completely made up (I've got our intern researching that as we speak), is set to make a bigger, brighter appearance on May 30th.

As your barbecue starts to cool and the sun dips below the horizon on Memorial Day, turn your eyes eastward to see a bright red glowing orb in the night sky. Significantly smaller than the moon, sure, but it will be like a larger, brighter star as Mars' orbit brings it closer to Earth than it's been since 2005, approximately 46.8 million miles away.

During the course of their orbits, the distance between Earth and Mars can vary from 33.9 million miles to 225 million miles.

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