Hi folks, tune in every week of 2023 for the best in astronomy from Astronomy Editor Dave Eicher, brought to you by Celestron.
This week, we’ll discuss TWO great conjunctions set to take place in the sky this week.
Monday, February 27: The Moon and Mars conjunction
First Quarter Moon occurs at 3:06 A.M. EST in the morning on Feb. 27. Later, just as the clock strikes midnight at the end of the day, our satellite passes 1.1° north of Mars in Taurus.
Your best bet is to look for Taurus the Bull slowly sinking in the west around 11 P.M. EST (Feb. 27). At this point, Mars and the Moon are just over 1° apart and lie 5° below Elnath, the star that marks the tip of one of the Bull’s horns. Mars will be to the Moon’s upper left (southeast), and you should be able to catch the magnitude 0.3 planet through binoculars or a telescope. The Red Planet’s disk has shrunk following its December close pass, now appearing 8″ wide.
Wednesday, March 1: Venus and Jupiter conjunction
The month of March kicks off with a bang as Venus and Jupiter meet in the sky. March 1 is the best time to view the event in the U.S., even though the true moment of conjunction occurs early March 2 (when the two planets have set for U.S. observers.)
At sunset, Venus is still about 30° high in the west. The bright (magnitude –3.9) planet should pop out of the twilight shortly after the Sun sinks below the horizon. Jupiter lies just 30′ to the southeast (upper left); at magnitude –2.1 it’s still bright enough to appear soon after sunset. See how long it takes for you to spot the gas giant’s glow in the sky!
For more information on what to look for in the sky each week, visit: https://www.astronomy.com/observing/the-sky-this-week-a-jupiter-venus-conjunction/
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