Mars just passed opposition last week (7th) meaning its exactly opposite the sun in the sky, but due to our elliptical orbits not being perfectly aligned carries on getting closer (and just a bit bigger and brighter and easier to see) until 15th, Tuesday. So far skies don't look too bad in the evenings, but I'd love to have another go at getting good views of it with the rest of you!
Mars is now almost as bright as Jupiter, and considering how much bigger Jupiter is (many many thousands of times its diameter, albeit much further away) that's quite impressive. If you'd like to do another day than Wednesday do rsvp (eg. say No) and let us know in the comments what/where you'd be keen to do - we've tried Wimbledon common, Crystal Palace train station (by sports centre) as areas before and I'm open to other suggestions. I cold even do Tuesday evening. Tonight might well be too short a notice but if you suggest an event or comment with enthusiasm (especially if you've shown up before or have a good track record) I'll be ready to give it a try and set up another.
We will meet at the Waterfront at 7:45pm first to provide an easy spot to find us all and see what we're doing in a social atmosphere. Look for John G, recognisable from his photo here (tall, long hair).. I also hope to have a meetup logo (printed at half-A4-paper size) nearby. Then once most/all of us are there after a while and assuming weather still good, we'll go up on the common.
DO Wrap up warm for the evening, thicker leggings, thick socks, wooly hats, gloves, etc and see you all on Saturday. Even if its a warm sunny day, imagine it was 5 degrees C cooler and come well prepared for standing outside in that for a while, if you're not used to astronomy nights outside! All beginners tend to underestimate and not have enough warm clothing, or gloves+hat for how long they want to stay, so strongly recommend you plan for that!
Everyone welcome, complete-beginners onwards - we love showing people their first views and the excitement of seeing the beauty and detail in something you never knew was there like the fuzzy white of Mars' ice caps, the detail in the moon's craters, Jupiter's clouds, or Saturn and its beautiful rings (only visible later in evening at present). As well as sharing our knowledge, we'll always do our best to answer questions however stupid you think they are - we probably asked them ourselves when we started out.