The moon passes the morning planets during late February and early March 2019. Step outside at about 1 hour before sunrise. Check your local sunrise time.
Here are the highlights for these mornings:
February 27: One hour before sunrise, three bright planets span about 36° from east-southeast to south-southeast. Brilliant Morning Star Venus is low in the east-southeast. Find a clear horizon to see it. Saturn, distinctly dimmer is 10° to the upper right of Venus. Venus passed Saturn just five days ago. Bright Jupiter is nearly 26° to the upper right of Saturn. The waning crescent moon (22.6d, 40%) is 2° to the upper right of Jupiter.
February 28: This morning Venus, Saturn, crescent moon (23.6d, 30%), Jupiter, and Antares are lined up across the sky from east-southeast to south-southeast.. The gaps to the solar system objects: Venus – Saturn, 11°; Saturn – Moon, 15°; Moon – Jupiter, 11°.
March 1: Jupiter rises 4.5 hours before sunrise followed by the waning crescent moon (24.9 days old, 22% illuminated) about 90 minutes later. Saturn follows the moon less than 20 minutes later. Venus rises about 45 minutes after Saturn. At 1 hour before sunrise, the three planets, with the moon 3° to the upper right of Saturn, span 38° from the east-southeast to south-southeast.
March 2: This morning is another classic Venus – moon (25.8d, 15%) pairing, with the crescent 4.3° to the right of the brilliant Morning Star, that is nearly 9° up in the east-southeast 1 hour before sunrise. Look for Earthshine, reflected sunlight from Earth gently illuminates the night portion of the moon. Jupiter is 39° to the upper right of Venus and Saturn is 13° to the upper right of Venus.
March 3: At an hour before sunrise, the crescent moon (26.7d, 9%), about 4° up in the east-southeast, is about 7° to the lower left of Venus.
Brilliant Morning Star Venus shines from the southeast this morning. Jupiter is over 17 degrees to the upper left of Venus. Saturn, beginning to become easier to see is over 9 degrees to the lower left of Venus.
Venus is rapidly moving toward a conjunction with Saturn on February 18. Watch Venus close the gap and get closer each morning.
Bright Mars, shining in the west this evening, is moving through the dimmer stars of Pisces. On February 12 it passes the planet Uranus. This evening it is about 3 degrees to the lower right of the planet. Use binoculars to locate the planet as its brightness is at the limit of human vision. Magnify the image to see the planet.
Mars passes Uranus on February 12. At the beginning of the month, Mars is over 7 degrees to the lower right of the dimmer outer planet this evening. If you’ve never seen the planet Uranus, Mars provides a way to see it. Uranus appears as a dim bluish or greenish star.
The second brighter star in this image is Hamal, the brightest star in Aries.
Unless you live under dark skies, you’ll need a binocular or small telescope to see it. It is near the star Omicron Piscium, a dimmer star in the constellation Pisces. It is cataloged by the Greek letter Omicron (ο). (It might be necessary to download the image above and magnify it to see Omicron and Uranus. The planet appears in this image as it is a 10-second exposure.)
This article provides more details about the location of Uranus and the track that Mars follows beginning February 6. Happy planet chasing!
On another wickedly cold morning, the waning crescent moon is 2 degrees from the Morning Star Venus this morning, while Jupiter is 8.5 degrees to the upper right of Venus. Venus passed Jupiter on January 22. It moves farther east and passes Saturn on February 18.
Look through a binocular to see “earthshine” on the moon. Sunlight reflected from Earth gently illuminates the night portion of the moon.
Venus and the moon about 20 minutes before sunrise.
The waning crescent moon, bright Jupiter, and Morning Star Venus shine from the southeast on this wickedly cold morning. The crescent moon (24.4 days old and 24% illuminated), overexposed in the image, is 6 degrees to the upper right of bright Jupiter. Venus, rapidly moving eastward is over 7 degrees to the lower left of Jupiter. The star Antares appears to the right of the planets. Tomorrow morning, the moon is near Venus.
The moon appears near the planet Saturn on the mornings of February 1 and February 2.
Here are the highlights of the mornings:
February 1: About 45 minutes before sunrise, Saturn, the crescent moon (26.5 days old — past the New phase, 10% illuminated), brilliant Morning Star Venus, and bright Jupiter span nearly 27° in the southeast. Saturn is only 7° up in the southeast. The planets and moon are nearly equally spaced, about 9° apart. Watch Venus continue to separate from Jupiter and close in on Saturn. The Venus – Saturn conjunction occurs on February 18. This morning the gap is 18.5°.
February 2: At 45 minutes before sunrise, the very thin waning crescent moon (27.5 days old, 5% illuminated), 5° up in the southeast, is about 3° to the lower left of Saturn. The Venus – Saturn gap is nearly 167°. The Venus – Jupiter gap continues to grow, over 10° this morning, widening to over 15° on February 12.