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Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Jupiter (magnitude -2.1) becomes visible in the southwest sky at dusk and currently sets just before 8:00pm. The bright planet remains visible through mid-February, when it appears low in the west-southwest sky and sets a bit after 6:30pm. A very thin crescent moon passes about 4° south of Jupiter the evening of February 2.
Mars (magnitude 1.5) and Venus (-4.4) are visible in the pre-dawn southeast sky. Mars currently rises about 5:45am, with much brighter Venus following about 30 minutes later. Both planets brighten slightly over the next month and rise about 30 minutes sooner by mid-February. The moon passes about 2° south of Mars the morning of January 29. Mars appears just south of Venus in early February; the two planets make their closest apparent approach the morning of February 12 when they appear about 6.5° apart.
Mercury (magnitude 1.9) returns to the morning sky by the end of January, rising in the east-southeast about 6:30am. The innermost planet brightens quickly through mid-February, shining at magnitude 0.0 when it reaches greatest western elongation on February 16. Mercury rises about 6:00am on that day.
Last (1/25), new (2/1), first (2/8), full (2/16), last (2/23)
Friends of Galileo
We are astronomy enthusiasts who love to learn and to share our wonder at the amazing sights right overhead.