Astronomical SIGHTS in a SKY NEAR YOU!

CONJUNCTIONS OF PLANETS, THE MOON, LUNAR AND SOLAR ECLIPSES, ETC
Graphics c/o Starry Night Education www.starrynighteducation.com.

This page updated Jan 4, 2020 with events to Feb 28, 2020.

See also the HOME page or COMING EVENTS .

The
VIS. COMETS page has more details and finder charts for currently visible comets.



The Planets for Winter 2020:


Venus by the end of 2019 and into early 2020 is a bright Evening Star but it is pretty much all alone for naked eye planets in the evening sky. Saturn is still visible in the SW sky but it won’t be long before it sinks below the western horizon as Jupiter has done already. But watch for Mercury to re-appear above the western horizon in Jan and Feb.

Mars is now a dawn planet in Scorpius and is above Antares all winter and spring 2020. Both Jupiter and Saturn follow it onto the dawn sky after they round the Sun.

As for the other gas giants, both Uranus and Neptune are well up in evening skies this winter but by the end of Feb, they are lower in the SW sky before midnight. Look for Venus and Neptune to get only 10 minutes of arc (0.2°) from each other Jan 27.

Dwarf planet, Pluto is in Sagittarius and hangs around between Saturn and Jupiter in dawn skies. Finder charts for all planets, dwarf planets and asteroids are found on our CHARTS/FORMS page.



Winter Sky Sights



A summary of the entire 2020 year of ASTRONOMY events can be found here:
ASTRONOMY EVENTS 2020

February

Feb 18: Last Crescent Moon occults Mars
On Tuesday morning, Feb 18, the Red Planet Mars (magnitude 1.2) passes behind the fat crescent Moon around 7:22 am local time. The Sun rises about the same time in the east but Moon and Mars are about 60 degrees west of the Sun. If you centre on Moon with the sky still dark and follow it until sunrise, you have the best chance of seeing this occultation. The reappearance of Mars on the dark Moon limb is more difficult and happens about 8:45 am with the Sun 15° high in the eastern sky. Diagram below shows Mars and Moon at 6:50 am about 30 minutes before sunup with the planet 10 minutes of arc from the Moon. Images with Mars, Moon and dark sky are a challenge but if it is clear give it a try.

Screen Shot 2020-02-10 at 5.17.47 PM
Starry Night diagram




Feb 28: Crescent Moon near Venus and Uranus
On Friday, Feb 28, the second and third brightest objects in our sky appear close to each other above the western horizon after sunset. Even in bright twilight, Venus shining at it brightest, magnitude -4.22, and the 5-day-old crescent Moon should be easy to spot. The Moon sits 15° above Venus tonight and the two straddle the planet Uranus, shining at magnitude 5.84 about 5° below the Moon along a line to Venus. Uranus won’t likely be seen naked eye tonight because of the bright moon nearby, but binos should show it.

Feb 28 Ven Moon Uranus