2018, February 26: The Morning Planet Parade

The morning planet parade continues as the three bright outer planets — Jupiter, Mars. and Saturn — shine from the southern sky this morning during early twilight.

Jupiter, the brightest of the three planets, shines from the stars of Libra.  It is 7.7 degrees from Zubenelgenubi, the brightest star in the constellation.  Jupiter passes the star again during June as it retrogrades.

Mars appears near its rival — Antares.  Mars passed the star earlier this month.   This morning the two are 10 degrees apart.  Mars is slowly marching eastward, passing Saturn in early April.

Saturn is 18.3 degrees to the lower left of Mars.  It is above the stars of Sagittarius, which are low in the sky at this time.

The articles that follow provide details about the planets visible without optical assistance (binoculars or telescope):

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