I'm always a bit torn when someone asks me to point my telescope at Mars.
I want to show them the planet. It's Mars, the Red Planet, famed in fiction and fact, shining down from the sky like a bloody eye, a baleful gaze that removes all doubt why the ancients regarded it as the god of war. Who wouldn't want to see it through a telescope?
But then there's Mars the actual planet: Half the size of Earth, and at best well over 50 million kilometers away. On average it's more like 150 million, and at worst 400 million. That's a long way for a small planet, and the views of it can be… disappointing. A red blob, fuzzed out by our atmosphere's motion, with maybe a dark splotch on it barely visible if you squint.
But then, I'm not Damian Peach.