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2020, February: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in a Morning Planet Parade


February Highlights:


As Jupiter and Saturn head toward their once every generation Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020, they appear higher in the morning sky during February.

During February 2020, Jupiter becomes easier to see in the morning sky with dimmer Mars.  The Red Planet is to the lower left of the star Antares.  The chart above shows the sky on February 5.  A more detailed note for the morning:

The moon moves close to the planets after mid-month.  As sunrise approaches in the Central Time Zone, the moon moves near Mars.  Just after sunrise from the Chicago area, the moon covers (occults) Mars.  An occultation is a type of eclipse that does not involve the sun.  Here’s the detailed note:

As the mornings progress Saturn appears higher in the sky and easier to see.

The moon passes Jupiter on February 19 and Saturn the following morning.  Find a location with a clear horizon to the southeast.  On February 19, the moon is to the right of Jupiter.  The next morning the lunar crescent to the lower right of Saturn Here are detailed notes for those mornings:

For those wanting to read the detailed notes for each day, here is my summary for February 2020.

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Happy Observing

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