Southern Colorado Skies / February 26 – March 4, 2017

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available, and an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

Later this week look to the southwest in the early evening to see the Moon pass by Taurus.

GL_3-4-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday (February 26)

Mars and Uranus are just over 1/2 degree apart this evening (they are at conjunction). Mars will be to the upper left (east) of Venus, and Uranus to the upper left of Mars. Although Uranus is only one-seventieth as bright as Mars (you will need binoculars at least), there is nothing else in the vicinity of Mars that bright.

New Moon at 7:58 a.m. MST.

Thursday (March 2)

The Moon, Mars, and Venus form a diagonal line in the west just after dark.

Saturday (March 4)

Aldebaran (in Taurus) is occulted by the first-quarter Moon. Times (Denver) are: disappear 8:33 p.m.; reappear 9:33 p.m.

DAYLIGHT

daylight_2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLANETS

Mercury (in Aquarius):

Lost in the glare of the Sun.

Venus (in Pisces):

Shining brightly in the west in the early evening. It will be lower in the sky as the week progresses, and increasing its separation from Mars.

Mars (in Pisces):

Look for a faint orange “star” to the upper left of Venus.

Jupiter (in Virgo):

Jupiter rises about 9 p.m., is high in the sky about midnight, and dominates the southern sky before dawn. The bright star a few degrees below it is Spica (in Virgo). Jupiter reaches opposition on April 7th, which is its closest approach during this apparition.

Saturn (in Sagittarius):

Look in the southeast in the early morning hours. Reddish Antares is about 18 degrees to Saturn’s right (about the width of your fist with your thumb extended, held out at arm’s length).

Uranus (in Pisces):

High in the southwest after nightfall, to the upper left of Mars.

Mars and Uranus will pass only 0.6 degrees from each other on the evening of February 26th. Here is a finder chart: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/uploads/WEB_UrNep16_Finders.pdf. Happy hunting!

Neptune (in Aquarius):

Lost in the evening twilight.

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Sunday (February 26) 07:09:49 p.m. / Magnitude -1.6 / SSE / Elevation 48 degrees

Monday (February 27): 07:03:45 p.m. / Magnitude -4.6 / SSE / Elevation 48 degrees

Tuesday (February 28): 05:40:51 a.m. / Magnitude -1.9 / S / Elevation 41 degrees

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re serious, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado

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