Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.
During the latter part of this week we are being treated to a nice alignment of the Moon and several planets in the pre-dawn sky.
Last quarter Moon at 2:10 p.m.
Tuesday (1/29) through Saturday (2/2)
Jupiter, the waning crescent Moon, Venus, and Saturn (binoculars will help you spot yellowish Saturn) make a nice line in the morning sky, as shown above.
Mercury (in Capricornus)
Mercury is in conjunction with the Sun this week and therefore not visible.
Venus (in Ophiuchus/Sagittarius) )and Jupiter (in Ophiuchus)
Venus and Jupiter are very bright and rise a couple of hours before sunrise in the southeast. Jupiter has now risen above Venus and to the right (west) – see above graphic. (Telescope tip: To view the crescent Venus without the glare, wait until the planet is high in the blue sky. Watch out for the Sun!).
Mars (in Pisces)
Mars is in its best viewing position in the southwest just after dark – it sets around 11 p.m.
Saturn (in Sagittarius)
The ringed planet is emerging out of the glare of the sunrise. Look for it about 30 minutes before sunrise as shown in the above graphic (binoculars will help).
Uranus (in Aries/Pisces)
Look in the southwest just after dark. Check out the Sky & Telescope finder chart noted below. (Uranus is easily visible with quality binoculars.)
Neptune (in Aquarius)
Look low in the west-southwest just after dark. Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune may be found at http://wwwcdn.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/uploads/WEB_UrNep18.pdf.
SCAS UPCOMING EVENTS
The next membership meeting will be on Thursday, February 21st, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bret Kelly B conference room at the Rawlings Public Library. There will be a presentation about the history as well as the different types of telescopes. The public has been invited to bring their personal telescopes, so that after the presentation SCAS members can address any questions about their operation and care; members can bring their own scopes as well if they have any operational questions to be addressed.
FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION REGARDING SCAS ACTIVITIES, REFER TO THE SCAS WEBSITE AT http://www.scaspueblo.com.
Pueblo West, Colorado