As one of the five bright planets visible to the unaided eye, Mars has perplexed and tantalized stargazers since antiquity. It's red-orange color, a consequence of iron-oxide in its surface sands, prompted classical astronomers to name the planet after the Roman god of war. Telescopic astronomers found Mars was remarkably Earth like. It had polar caps, seasons, an atmosphere, and surface features that seemed to change over days and weeks. Until the mid-20th century, a few astronomers even speculated there might be intelligent life and an advanced civilization on Mars. Thanks to dozens of orbiting space probes and landers, we now understand that Mars appears to have no life, no liquid surface water, and a barren and inhospitable landscape. But for amateur astronomers, Mars remains a fascinating sight because it's the only planet to reveal an appreciable amount of surface detail in a small telescope, and it also features occasional surprises such as dust storms and local fogs and cloud banks. Seeing Mars takes a little practice, however, as well as the right tools for the job. This guide will help you understand what you can see on the surface of Mars, especially during the time before and after the opposition of July 27, 2018, when Mars makes its closest approach to Earth since 2003. And it will help you select telescopes, filters, eyepieces, and other accessories to help you get the best view of this remarkable world. Read the full guide here.