Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Mars (magnitude 0.7) becomes visible high in the western sky as darkness falls and remains visible until setting around 1:00am and about 15 minutes earlier by mid-March. The moon passes 4° south of (below) Mars and just southwest of the Pleiades star cluster (M45) on the evening of February 18. Mars continues to get closer to M45 with each passing night, making its closest approach during the first week of March.
Mercury and Saturn currently rise in the east-southeast just after 6:00am, with Jupiter following about 20 minutes later. The three planets form a triangle and rise a few minutes earlier each morning. On March 20, Mercury shines at magnitude 0.9 and gets slightly brighter each morning, reaching magnitude 0.0 by mid-March. Saturn and Jupiter remain at magnitudes 0.7 and -2.0 respectively during this period.
On the morning of March 4, Mercury appears about 1° west of Jupiter, and 0.3° north of (above) Jupiter the following morning. The moon passes 4° south of Saturn the morning of March 9, and 4° south of Jupiter and Mercury on March 10.
First (2/19), full (2/27), last (3/5), new (3/13), first (3/21), full (3/28)
Friends of Galileo
We are astronomy enthusiasts who love to learn and to share our wonder at the amazing sights right overhead.