2018, March 2: Mars Marches Eastward


The Red Planet Mars continues its eastward march among the starry background.  It appears between the star Antares and Saturn during early morning twilight today.  As the earth rotates each day, the sun, moon, stars, and planets rise in the east and set in the west.  At the same time, the planets move eastward in their orbits.  In early January, Mars passed bright Jupiter which is 28 degrees to the upper right of Mars this morning.  During February, Mars passed Antares.  This morning the star is 12 degrees to the lower right of Mars.

Mars is on its way to a conjunction with Saturn in early April.  This morning, Saturn is 16 degrees to the left of Mars.  During this month (March), watch Mars, for which the month is named, march eastward to close the distance with Saturn.

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

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