Appointment With Heaven: Planetary party at dawn.
This weekend, an hour before sunrise, we can see Venus accompanied by Mars and Mercury.
The show of the planets has moved to sunrises. This weekend, an hour before sunrise, we can see a resplendent Venus accompanied by Mars and Mercury. Jupiter and Saturn, now unobservable, will appear at sunrise in a few days.
Early risers who look up to the sky will not be disappointed in the sunrises this February. Venus continues to reign with a very intense brightness in the southeast. This luminosity is due to its proximity to Earth. It is only 69 million kilometers away (remember that the Sun is 150 million kilometers from Earth).
It is best to observe it around 00:70 or 07:30 in the morning when it is already high enough, and the sky is still relatively dark. Little by little, as the orange and reddish colors of dawn herald the rising Sun, Mars is also gaining height, although lower and much less bright than Venus.
If the sky is clear enough and the horizon is clear, Mercury can also be seen, a little lower and further east than Venus and Mars.
Along with Earth, these are the ones that make up the small family of rocky planets in the solar system, the closest to the Sun. However, although they appear relatively close in the same region of the sky, they are at very different distances from us. At the moment, the closest is Venus which, as we have said, is 69 million kilometers away. Mercury is at a distance similar to the Sun (150 million kilometers) and Mars twice as far, at 307 million kilometers.
As for their brightness this weekend, Mercury and Mars appear 100 and 230 times dimmer than Venus. That is why you have to sharpen your eyes to appreciate them.
This whole scene is very close to the constellation Sagittarius, with its characteristic teapot shape. The Milky Way is the center of our galaxy in this region of the sky, where bright stars abound.
APPOINTMENT WITH THE MOON
Although our objective is to observe the planets, we cannot forget the Moon this weekend and will be visible from the west; it is still huge, as it passed through the full Moon on Wednesday the 16th.
As it decreases, the Moon will be more miniature in night observation. Do not miss the sunrise on the 27th, when the thin waning edge is near Mars, thus forming beautiful conjunction.
With the sky so dark on those nights, it will be possible to see the galactic bulge in Sagittarius, not far from reddish Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius.
It will be worth enjoying the sunrise thoroughly, reveling in the delicate glow of the Moon and the planets, and watching the horizon lighten and take on those colors that are always fascinating.
Jupiter and Saturn are not observable now (they are in a direction very close to that of the Sun). We will have to wait until April to see them without difficulties and at dawn. Next spring's sunrises promise to be splendid, with four or five planets visible simultaneously. To feel more connected with nature and our celestial neighborhood, follow your movements in the sky by staying tuned for these Appointments with the atmosphere.