"This spring, Mars is looping through the stars of Virgo alongside the large asteroids Ceres and Vesta," explains Westlake. "All three reach opposition next month: Mars on April 8th, Vesta on April 13th, and Ceres on April 15th. Vesta, the nearer and more reflective of the two, appears about a magnitude brighter than Ceres. Both are within easy grasp of binoculars."
Look for Mars and Spica rising in the east after sunset, around 9 pm local time. A backyard telescope pointed at Mars will show you more than a red dot. Mars's north polar cap, surface features and clouds are being photographed by amateur astronomers around the world as the red planet grows larger in the eyepiece every night.
Browse the gallery for examples: Realtime Mars Photo Gallery