Every few years, Mars becomes very bright when it has a blood-red hue.
In mid-2018, Mars will shine very brightly because it will be in the closest position to us and on the same side of the Sun. This will give amateur astronomers an excellent opportunity to study the surface features of this amazing planet, even with the help of very small telescopes.
At any other time, Mars shows a much smaller disk and a relatively dim view, because our orbits will be much farther apart. In addition, sometimes Mars can go to the opposite side of us from the Sun.