Fri., Feb. 10 6:44 5:08
Sat., Feb. 11 6:42 5:09
Sun., Feb. 12 6:41 5:10
Mon., Feb. 13 6:40 5:12
Tues., Feb. 14 6:38 5:13
Wed., Feb. 15 6:37 5:14
Thurs., Feb. 16 6:36 5:15
Fri., Feb. 17 6:34 5:17
Tonight’s gibbous moon appears near the bright red planet Mars. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Leo, a constellation we usually associate with spring and early summer. Mars rises first before 9 p.m., followed by the moon; but the best view of them as a pair will be closer to 10 p.m. or later when they are higher in the east.
The moon will be three days past full and still quite bright. Mars is only three weeks from opposition, brighter than it has been in almost two years.
On Monday night, look up again but late. The moon rises in the east more than two hours later and appears near the ringed-planet Saturn. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Virgo, a constellation we usually associate with summer.
The two brightest planets in our western sky are getting closer together. Venus, the brightest, is high in the west and sets three hours after sunset. Farther to the east there is Jupiter. If you notice one, take a look at the other. Jupiter sets around midnight.
In the weeks ahead, Venus and Jupiter will appear side by side. Their progress towards a common place in our night sky is worth watching. The two planets will be closest in the first week of March. They’ll only be five degrees apart.
Jupiter is 465 million miles away from us, while Venus is about 93 million miles away.