This morning, three days after the Venus-Saturn conjunction, the brilliant Morning Star Venus is 3.4 degrees to the left of Saturn. Watch the Venus-Saturn gap continue to grow during the next several mornings. Jupiter is about 26 degrees to the upper right of Saturn.
Brilliant Morning Star Venus shines from the southeast this morning. It passes Saturn in three mornings (February 18). This morning, Venus is 3.4 degrees to the upper right of Saturn. Jupiter is over 23 degrees to the upper right of Venus. Venus passed Jupiter about a month ago.
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!
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.
The waning crescent moon, 23.4 days old — past the New phase — and 33% illuminated, enters the photographic frame this morning as it approaches Jupiter and brilliant Morning Star Venus. The moon, overexposed in the image, is over 18 degrees to the upper right of Jupiter. The next few mornings, the moon passes Jupiter and Venus.
Venus passed Jupiter a week ago. This morning Venus is nearly 8 degrees from the Giant Planet. Venus is heading toward a conjunction with Saturn on February 18.