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Venus rules before dawn

March 2014: While Venus blazes high in the morning sky during March, Mars and Saturn appear nearly as good from late evening until dawn as they approach their springtime peaks.
Venus shines brilliantly in the southeast before dawn this month.

With Mars just one month away from opposition and peak visibility, March provides exquisite views of this nearby world from late evening until dawn. But the true star of these increasingly balmy evenings is Jupiter, which dazzles from dusk until the approach of dawn. The early morning March sky teems with planet activity, with Saturn looking wonderful as always and Mercury and Venus reaching their pinnacles just eight days apart.

Let’s start our tour of the sky in the west shortly after darkness falls. Uranus lies 30° east of the Sun as March begins, so it hangs low in the evening sky. From mid-northern latitudes on the 1st, the planet stands about 10° above the horizon once twilight fades away.

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