Let the Triangle Point the Way

   In the morning skies, before sunrise local time, look toward the southeastern horizon for Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn to be arranged along the ecliptic in a grouping that starting with today will fit within the field of view of binoculars. If your skies are dark enough you may notice 3 bright stars arranged in a large triangle above the three planets. The stars, Vega, Deneb, and Altair, each from a different constellation, form the asterism known as the Summer Triangle.
   Over the next several days, into next month, Mars will steadily close in on Saturn for a nice close conjunction of about 1o on Tuesday March 31st.
   Further east, and lower, is the Dwarf Planet Ceres, and the innermost planet Mercury.

   And don’t forget – in the evening skies for the next several days the planet Venus will be closing in on the open star cluster, the Pleiades. This animated graphic is set for 1-day intervals from April 2nd-5th.
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
The morning planets

   
   
   

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Mars-Jupiter Close Conjunction

   Friday morning March 20th the 26-day old waning crescent Moon will be near the Dwarf Planet Ceres. However the close conjunction (1-2o) between Mars and Jupiter should be an especially good view through the eyepiece of binoculars or the eyepiece of a telescope.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Lunar Conjunctions

   Tuesday morning March 17th watch for the 23-day old waning crescent Moon to be approaching a group of 3 planets beginning a series of 3 conjunctions. Starting with a conjunction with Mars (10o separation) on the 17th, then a day or so later a conjunction with all three of the planets coming the closest, about 1-2o, to Jupiter and Mars on the 18o. Saturn is about 7o to the east from the Moon, Jupiter and Mars. A day after that the Moon will have passed by Saturn and will be about 7o to the east from Saturn.
   If you watch carefully you will see that Mars is also moving eastward, as are Jupiter and Saturn. However Mars and the Moon are moving faster than the two ringed planets with the Moon moving the most per day. The result is that over the next several days, to the end of this month, Mars will be gradually passing by the two planets as the Moon, relative to Mars, will zoom past.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon-Antares Conjunction

   Sunday morning March 15th look toward the southeastern horizon for a nice line-up of some visible planets and the 19-day old waning gibbous Moon. The Moon is about 7o from the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion.
   Over the next several days the Moon, as it wanes toward new Moon, will move eastward past the planets that are lined up near the ecliptic. The planet Mars is also on the move eastward, albeit not as fast as the Moon.

   
   
   

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Moon-Saturn Conjunction

   This morning not only had nice clear skies but this morning I am in Phoenix Arizona where it was warm enough to be outside for some picture taking. Had a great view from northwest of Phoenix and despite the light pollution I was able to count at least 17 stars spread across the skies!


   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon – Antares Conjunction

   Sunday morning February 16th the 23-day old waning gibbous Moon is about 8o from the reddish star Antares, the heart of Scorpius the Scorpion. Both rise after midnight and are over the southern horizon at sunrise.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon, Mars, and Antares

   Monday morning January 20th, as they all rise together, the 25-day old waning crescent Moon will be within 5o from the planet ‘red planet’ Mars and the red star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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