Southern Colorado Skies / March 5 – 11, 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 east in the early evening to watch the Moon pass by Leo.

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Saturday (March 11)

Don’t forget that daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Clocks spring ahead.

DAYLIGHT

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PLANETS

Mercury (in Aquarius):

Lost in the glare of the Sun. But just wait. Later in March Mercury has its best evening apparition of the year.

Venus (in Pisces):

Still shining brightly in the west in the early evening, but it will be lower in the sky as the week progresses, and increasing its separation from Mars.

Mars (in Pisces/Aries):

Look for a faint orange “star” to the upper left of Venus. Like Venus, Mars is dropping lower in the sky as the week progresses.

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, between Mars and Venus.

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 (March 5) 06:36:24 p.m. / Magnitude -1.7 / SSE / Elevation 52 degrees

Monday (March 6) 05:13:25 a.m. / Magnitude -1.9 / S / Elevation 44 degrees

Saturday (March 11) 04:52:07 a.m. / Magnitude -7.8 / SSW / Elevation 45 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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