2018, April 2: Mars-Saturn Conjunction Morning

Mars passes 1.2 degrees below Saturn this morning.  Watch Mars move away from  Saturn during the next several days.  Saturn begins to retrograde on April 17, heading toward its opposition in  June.

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On the larger scale, Jupiter is in the southwest.  A bright waning gibbous moon (just outside the frame beyond Jupiter) illuminates the scene.

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

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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):

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 14: Venus and Mercury, The Early Show in West

This evening brilliant Venus and Mercury continue their planetary display in the western sky,  Mercury reaches its greatest separation (elongation) from the sun tomorrow evening.  Both planets are emerging from their solar superior conjunctions.  After it reaches its greatest elongation, Mercury quickly returns to the sun’s glare and moves into the morning sky.

Venus is in the sky until October.

On March 18, Mercury passes Venus again as the waxing crescent moon joins the planetary pair in the western sky.

This evening Mercury is 4 degrees to the upper right of Venus.

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

2018, March 8: Venus and Mercury, The Evening Show Continues

Brilliant Venus, now easily visible during twilight without binoculars, shines from the western sky this evening.  Last week Mercury passed Venus.  This evening they are 2.8 degrees apart.  Mercury passes Venus again on March 18 as the speedy planet heads back into the sun’s glare.

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

2018: March 3: Venus and Mercury, The Evening Show, Episode 3

Brilliant Venus and Mercury stand side-by-side during today’s evening twilight. Mercury is making its best appearance of the year. Venus is an Evening Star for nearly the rest of the year.

This evening they are about 1 degree apart. Mercury moves higher until it reaches its greatest separation from the sun and then dives back into the sun’s glare. Mercury passes about 4 degrees from the moon on March 18. The crescent moon joins the pair that evening.

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

2018, March 2: Venus and Mercury, The Evening Show, Episode 2

Brilliant Venus and Mercury shine during twilight this evening, the day before their conjunction.  Both planets are emerging into the evening sky after their superior conjunctions.  This is Mercury’s best evening appearance this year. This evening the are 1.2 degrees apart.  Tomorrow evening they stand side-by-side, about one degree apart; that’s about the size of your thumbnail at arm’s length.

Mercury zips past Venus and goes higher in the sky.  It reaches its greatest separation from the sun, then it dives back toward the sun.  Mercury passes Venus again on March 18.  By then, the waxing crescent moon joins the pair.

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