Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Venus (magnitude -3.9) and Saturn (0.8) become visible in the southwest at dusk. Brighter Venus currently sets a bit after 6:30pm, with Saturn following about 30 minutes later. Venus passes about 0.4° south of Saturn the evening of January 22, close enough to fit together in a telescope’s field of view. The planetary pair will become visible around 5:30pm, 13° above the southwest horizon as dusk fades to darkness, with the one-day old new moon positioned about 4° south of the two planets. By the end of January, Saturn will become lost in the twilight.
Venus passes less than 1° south of Neptune (magnitude 8.0) the evening of February 15, close enough to fit together in a telescope’s field of view. Binoculars or a telescope are required to see the conjunction. Venus sets just before 8:00pm that evening.
Jupiter (magnitude -2.3) becomes visible about 40° above the southwest horizon as the sky darkens. It currently sets about 10:30pm and about 9:15pm by mid-February. The moon passes about 2° south of Jupiter the evening of January 25.
Mars (magnitude -0.6) becomes visible high in the eastern sky as darkness falls. The red planet currently sets in the west-northwest about 4:30am and about an hour earlier by mid-February. The moon passes about 0.1° south of Mars the evening of January 30, close enough to fit together in a telescope’s field of view.
Mercury (magnitude 0.4) currently rises in the southeast about 6:15am, about 90 minutes before sunrise. The innermost planet brightens to magnitude -0.2 and rises about 15 minutes later by mid-February, but by then only about 45 minutes before sunrise.
New (1/21), first (1/28), full (2/5), last (2/13), new (2/20), first (2/27).
Friends of Galileo
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