Welcome to our Mars special issue of Astronomy Now, timed to coincide with the opposition of the red planet on 29 January, and complete with free giant poster "The Waters of Mars". Learn about the evolution of the Martian climate and why Mars is red, journey across the surface with Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and master the art of drawing Mars through the eyepiece, and then turn your images into a rotating movie of the red planet! We also explore the extreme behaviour of Martian dust storms, the violent history of moons Phobos and Deimos and consider what it might be like to partake in a human mission to Mars in the future.
In our regular sections Carole Stott describes the wonders of spiral galaxies, Mark Radice describes his novel binocular mount in Gear heads and Martin Mobberley explains image scales in Tech talk. Your guide to the night skies of February explores a variety of occultations, a sky tour of the constellations beneath Mars and of course, the red planet itself.
Plus! In the centre of this issue you can find our AstroFest 2010 exhibition guide, with news of special exclusive show offers available from many of our exhibitors.