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Mars shines at its brilliant best in early March, when it lines up opposite the Sun in Earth's sky. The planet looks like a bright orange star, in the constellation Leo. (The diagram shows not only the lion's classic outline, but the formal constellation boundaries established by the International Astronomical Union in the 1930s.) Mars is closest to Earth at opposition, which is why it shines so brightly. It rises around sunset (this view is about 90 minutes later) and remains in view all night.