2018, March 25: The Morning Planets, Mars On the Move

A clear sky prevails this morning with the bright planets in the south.

Mars closes in on Saturn in the south-southeast. This morning they are 4.4 degrees apart. Mars passes Saturn on the morning of April 2.  Watch Mars  close the gap during the next week.

Bright Jupiter gleams in the southwest.  It is retrograding near the star Zubenelgenubi.  This morning they are 7.5 degrees apart.  Jupiter passes the star in early June.

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

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2018, March 22: The Morning Planet Parade, Mars Closes In

Mars is marching toward its April 2 conjunction with Saturn. This morning they are about 6 degrees apart.  Watch Mars close the gap each morning.

Meanwhile, farther west, Jupiter is retrograding.  It is about 8 degrees from Zubenelgenubi, the brightest star in Libra.  Jupiter passes the star in June.

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

2018, March 21: #Venus, Mercury and Moon, The Early Show, #Mercury Slips Into Bright Twilight

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Click through this short slide show to see Venus, Mercury and the Moon this evening.

Brilliant Venus shines from the western sky this evening.  Now setting nearly 90 minutes after sunset, this evening planet appears higher each evening at the same time.

Dimmer Mercury is 4.5 degrees to the right of Venus.  Binoculars help finding its location.  It is rapidly diving into bright twilight and fading in brightness.  On April 1, it passes between Earth and Sun, and moves into the morning sky,

The 4.5-day old crescent moon appears 38 degrees above Venus this evening.  Watch it appear higher in the sky, more distant from Venus, and with a growing phase as it continues through its celestial path.

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

2018, March 18: Venus and Mercury, The Early Show, The Moon Joins the Party

A thin crescent moon, nearly 1.5 days old, joins brilliant Venus and Mercury this evening. Mercury is partly hidden by the clouds.

Venus is entering the sky after its superior conjunction. Mercury is a few days past its greatest separation from the sun and heading toward its solar inferior conjunction in early April.

Tomorrow evening Mercury is lower in the sky and the waxing crescent moon is about 13 degrees to the upper left of Venus.

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

2018: March 18: Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, The Morning Planet Parade, Mars Approaches Saturn

The bright morning planets shine in the south this morning.  Mars, now well past Antares, is approaching Saturn.  This morning Mars and Saturn are 8 degrees apart.  During the next two weeks watch Mars close the gap and pass Saturn on April 2.

Bright Jupiter is toward the southwest, retrograding toward the star Zubenelgenubi.  It moves slower and passes the star in June.  This morning, they are 7.9 degrees apart.

This evening Venus, Mercury and the crescent moon appear in the western sky after sunset.  See the details in the link below.

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

2018, March 17: Venus and Mars, The Early Show, Mercury Heads Towards Conjunction

Brilliant Venus shines again from the western sky this evening during twilight. It is emerging from its solar superior conjunction and is in the sky for most of the year.

Speedy Mercury is now past its greatest elongation and begins setting earlier each evening. It passes between Earth and Sun on April 1.  Its departure occurs quickly during the next two weeks. Also notice that Mercury’s brightness is fading as well. This evening Mercury appears 3.9 degrees to the upper right of Venus.   Tomorrow evening the moon joins the view.

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

2018, March 15: Venus and Mercury,The Early Show, Greatest Elongation

Brilliant Venus and Mercury shine during twilight this evening. Mercury is at its greatest angular separation from the sun (greatest elongation).  This evening Mercury is 4 degrees from Venus.  Mercury begins to appear lower in the sky each night.  On March 18, the waxing crescent moon joins the planetary pair.

This one of the best views we ever see of Mercury.  It almost always sets before the end of the evening twilight or rises after twilight begins.  A spring evening appearance is the best time to see the planet as we have a very favorable view of the solar system in the west this time of year.  Other times of the year, Mercury hides in evening twilight and sets early after sunset.  Watch the planetary display in the west as Mercury changes its position compared to Venus quite rapidly during the next several days.

 

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