Sky Report, February/March 2023
Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Venus (magnitude -4.0) and Jupiter (magnitude -2.2) become visible in the southwest at dusk. Brighter Venus becomes visible first and will appear lower to the horizon than Jupiter. Venus currently sets about 8:00pm, followed by Jupiter just before 9:15pm. The two planets appear less than 0.5° apart the evening of March 1, close enough to fit within a binocular field of view. Thereafter, Jupiter will begin setting before Venus and will thus appear lower to the horizon than Venus. By mid-March, Jupiter sets just before 8:00pm, followed by Venus about 9:15pm.
Mars (magnitude -0.6) becomes visible high in the eastern sky as darkness falls. The red planet currently sets in the northwest a bit past 3:00am and about an hour earlier by mid-March.
The moon passes about 2° south of Venus the evening of February 21, about 1° south of Jupiter the next night, and about 1° north of Mars the night of February 27.
Mercury (magnitude -0.2) now rises in the southeast about 6:30am, about 45 minutes before sunrise. However, the innermost planet will be difficult to spot because it is only about 5° above the horizon, and within a few days will be lost in the morning sunlight.
New (2/20), first (2/27), full (3/7), last (3/15), new (3/21), first (3/29).
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