Mars is probably the planet that has fascinated mankind since telescopes were invented. It is the only plant other than the Earth for which we can clearly see the surface, and superficially at least, it is the most Earth-like in the solar system. Unfortunately, Mars is such a small planet, that good views can only be obtained during opposition, and oppositions only occur at intervals of about 2 years and 2 months. On top of this, the orbit of Mars has a rather high eccentricity, so not all oppositions are favourable. The most favourable oppositions occur some 15 years apart! During the early 2000's the oppositions were quite favourable, with that of 2003 being particularly so.

2001 Opposition

2003 Opposition

2009 Opposition

2011 Opposition