A major dust storm has just broken out on Mars and the event will be visible this weekend with good-sized backyard telescopes.
The timing is incredible. Amateur skywatchers around the world are planning to gaze at Mars Saturday night because it will be closer to Earth than anytime until the year 2018.
The dust storm was no more than a small bright dot Thursday yet it was large and obvious Friday, as seen in images taken by Clay Sherrod at the Arkansas Sky Observatories.
October 28, 2005
Major Dust Storm on Mars Visible with Backyard Telescopes
This begs the question: Why the heck don't I have a telescope? For all my years of nebbish obsession with all things spacey, I've never even looked through one.