Mars Puts on a Show Tonight Sun, Earth, Mars line up, making for great skywatching By Mark Russell, Newser Staff Posted Mar 3, 2012 6:41 AM CST 2 comments Comments Tonight is the Mars opposition when Mars passes close to the Earth, making it much more visible. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – It's called the Mars opposition—the period every 26 months that the orbits of the sun, Earth, and Mars line up, with the sun and Mars on opposite sides of the Earth. And with Mars swinging extra close to the Earth tonight—a veritable stone's throw at just 62.6 million miles—it should be quite visible, even to the naked eye, reports Scientific American. You can also catch the show live online at the Slooh Space Camera beginning at 11pm ET. Mars actually will be closest to the Earth on Monday, notes Space.com, which provides sky maps.