Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Jupiter (magnitude -2.0) becomes visible low on the west-southwest horizon at twilight, setting just past 6:30pm. Although bright, the giant planet will be difficult to spot as it sets about three minutes later and closer to sunset each night.
Venus (magnitude -4.0) and Mars (1.3) are currently visible in the pre-dawn southeast sky. Brighter Venus currently rises just past 4:30am and about a minute sooner each day over the next month. Mars currently rises about 30 minutes after Venus, and about 15 minutes after Venus by mid-March. The moon passes about 9° south of Venus and about 4° south of Mars the morning of February 27. Venus passes about 4° north of Mars the morning of March 12.
Saturn (magnitude 0.8) and Mercury (0.0) return to the morning sky by the end of February. Both planets will initially be very low above the east-southeast horizon just before sunrise. Mercury remains visible each morning through about March 10 when it fades into the morning sunlight, while Saturn rises a few minutes earlier each morning. The moon passes about 4° south of Mercury and about 4° south of Saturn the morning of February 28. Mercury passes less than 1° south of Saturn the morning of March 2.
Full (2/16), last (2/23), new (3/2), first (3/10), full (3/18), last (3/25)
Friends of Galileo
We are astronomy enthusiasts who love to learn and to share our wonder at the amazing sights right overhead.