Venus, Mars, and Saturn This Morning, February 15, 2014

Venus at its greatest brightness, February 15, 2014.

With a full moon setting in the west, Morning Star Venus sparkles in the southeastern sky as it reaches its greatest brightness of this morning appearance as seen from the Chicago area. (Click the images to see them larger.)  Venus outshines all other starlike objects in the sky; only the sun and moon are brighter.  It is nearly 20 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.  It is  185 times brighter than Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, that appears to the upper right of Venus and in the image below.

Mars and Saturn appear farther toward the south to the upper right of Venus.  Saturn is 50 degrees to the upper right of Venus.  Antares is nearly 40 degrees from Venus.  Note the brightness difference between Venus and Antares as described above.  Mars is farther to the southwest, about 5 degrees to the upper left of Spica.

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