Watch for the moon from Tuesday to Thursday this week and you will see bright morning planets — Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — close to it. Find out more details and observing tips.
The Red Planet
The moon and the red planet will make a close approach in the morning sky on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. The pair will shine in the southeastern sky in the constellation Sagittarius. You can observe the moon and Mars with the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
Lunar Occultation of Mars
The same morning, most observers in North America (except Alaska and Hawaii) will be able to see the waning crescent moon occult Mars. The red planet will disappear behind the lunar disk and then reappear. Exact times of the occultation vary by location, so use the stargazing app Star Walk 2 to find out when it occurs in your sky.
Close Approach of the Moon and Jupiter
On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, the very bright Jupiter and the moon will shine together in the predawn sky. The pair will be visible to the naked eye above the southwestern horizon. Passing within 0°55′ of each other, the moon and Jupiter won’t be close enough to see through a telescope, but if you want to take a closer look, you should be able to spot them both through binoculars. Try to spot Jupiter’s Galilean moons too.
A Visit to Saturn
Before sunrise on Thursday, February 20, 2020, the moon will pay a visit to the ringed planet Saturn. The duo can be seen low above the southeastern horizon. This encounter will favor the Southern Hemisphere observers, as Saturn is now better placed for observation from there. Binoculars will be helpful for those watching Saturn from the Northern Hemisphere. Keep watching for Saturn all month, as the ringed planet will be rising earlier every day.
Check whether an astronomical event is visible in your sky, discover the perfect viewing time for your location and quickly find celestial objects in the sky with the stargazing app Star Walk 2.
Clear skies and happy hunting!
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