Mar 28

Sky Report: March 29 – April 4

This remains true for at least a month: there are three planets out tonight, Mars after sunset and Jupiter and Saturn before sunrise. Look for Mars halfway up the western sky as the sky is growing dark. It’s 10° — the width of your fist held at arm’s length – directly above the star Aldebaran […]

Mar 21

Sky Report: March 22 – March 28

Three planets are out tonight, one in the evening and two in the morning. The evening planet is Mars, which has been in the news because Perseverance recently landed on it and is beginning to go to work exploring its landing site and eventually looking for signs of ancient life. Mars is halfway up the […]

Mar 14

Sky Report: March 15 – March 21

Starting with planets, you’ll find one in the evening sky and two in the morning. Mars remains the sole planet visible after sunset, and it sits half-way up the western sky as the sky grows dark, in the constellation Taurus. Mars has been in the sky since November 2019 and you’ll still see it in […]

Mar 6

Sky Report: March 8 – March 14

This has been true for weeks and remains true today: Mars is the only planet in the evening sky. The earth and Mars were closest six months ago, when the earth, on our inside orbit, passed slower-moving Mars, and we’re now leaving it behind as we race ahead around the sun. Mars remains easily visible […]

Feb 28

Sky Report: March 1 – March 7

Mars remains the sole planet in the evening sky. It’s in the news as craft from several countries go into orbit around it and land on its surface, and you can see Mars as one of the brighter “stars” high in the southwest as darkness falls. A short distance to the left, or east, of […]

Feb 21

Sky Report: February 22 – February 28

Only two months ago we enjoyed the remarkable sight of Jupiter and Saturn sitting extremely close together in the evening sky, and then Mercury made a great appearance when it was easy to see. These three planets then moved close to the sun, but they’re back – now on the other side of the sun […]

Feb 14

Sky Report: February 15 – February 21

This will be true for some time: Mars is the one planet in the evening sky (not counting Uranus which is nearby), and it’s high in the southwest at sunset. Mars is 11 light-minutes away, which means that the light of Mars we see now left Mars 11 minutes ago. This is true of radio […]

Feb 7

Sky Report: February 8 – February 14

Mars remains the sole planet visible tonight, and you can easily see it high in the southwest as darkness falls. It remains visible until it sets after midnight. Mars is brighter – and oranger – than any star in the area so you’ll have no trouble identifying it. Three spacecraft reach Mars this month, an […]

Jan 31

Sky Report: February 1 – February 7

The sole planet visible tonight in both the evening and morning sky is Mars, since all the others are behind the sun (or in front of it in the case of Mercury). But Mars is easy to see. At our southernly latitude it’s nearly overhead as darkness falls, and it’s the brightest “star” in that […]

Jan 24

Sky Report: January 25 – January 31

Beginning with planets, two are out this evening – Mars and Mercury. Mercury is hard to see and getting harder by the day. Being on an orbit that is inside ours it never strays far from the sun, so it’s always near the horizon in twilight. It was at its greatest angular separation from the […]