I have heard that in late August, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been for several centuries. Is there a place where the public can see it through a telescope?
You are mistaken. The optimum Mars sighting you're referring to was in August 2003. "I'm told there's something circulating on the Internet about this, but it's not true. It's a hoax, apparently," said Barbara Twarog, professor of physics and astronomy at Kansas University. Nevertheless, Twarog said the astronomy department was planning an evening viewing for Aug. 27. "We're still working out the details," she said. "People can call the department at 864-3166."