The looming proximity of Mars has fueled a frenzy of public and media interest as people around the globe make plans to see the neighboring world closer than ever in recorded history. Telescopes are flying off store shelves faster than you can say “little green men” and are in short supply globally. Meanwhile, hundreds of Mars parties and other events are slated for this weekend and through next week. At 5:51 a.m. ET (1051 GMT) on Aug. 27, Mars will be nearer to Earth than it has been in 59,619 years. A similar opportunity won’t occur again until the year 2287.