The red planet Mars is only a few weeks away from opposition and its brightness can not be missed. The red planet glows above the southeastern horizon two hours after sunset. Mars hasn’t been this bright in almost two years. Once Mars rises higher in the southeast, later in the evening, there is no mistaking its reddish color and its brightness amid the field of fainter stars. Mars nearly doubles in size and brightness this month.
On Tuesday night, the bright one-day old full moon, the Mud Moon, appears near Mars. There is the moon, Mars and Spica, the brightest star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. Together the three form a tight triangle.
Mars still falls short of being as bright as the larger planet Jupiter which is above us. Jupiter is high in the western sky, in the zodiacal constellation Gemini after sunset.
Venus remains the brightest planet in our sky. But to see it you’ve got to get up early in the morning. Venus is low in the eastern sky at dawn. There are two reasons why Venus is such a spectacle. The planet is cloud covered and thus reflects sunlight really well. Venus is also close, about 93 million miles away, about the same distance the sun is from us.
|Fri., March 14||6:55||6:46|
|Sat., March 15||6:54||6:47|
|Sun., March 16||6:52||6:48|
|Mon., March 17||6:50||6:50|
|Tues., March 18||6:49||6:51|
|Wed., March 19||6:47||6:52|
|Thurs., March 20||6:45||6:53|
|Fri., March 21||6:43||6:54|
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