- Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
From January 29 to February 12, 2018
Mercury is now too close to the sun and is not visible currently. From our point of view, the tiny planet passes behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on February 17, and will reappear in the evening sky in early March.
Venus passed behind the Sun (superior conjunction) on January 9, and gradually reappears at dusk during the first evenings in February. Using binoculars, scan the skies just above the west-southwest horizon looking for the bright Evening Star, 10 to 15 minutes after sunset. Venus is slowly pulling away from the Sun’s glare and will become easier to locate over the coming weeks.
Mars rises in the east-southeast around 3 a.m., and can be found in the south-southeast at dawn. The Red Planet shines a few degrees to the left of bright Jupiter, but the gap between them is increasing day by day. On the morning of February 8, the lunar crescent appears between Mars and Jupiter, completing a large, flattened triangle with the two planets. The next morning, February 9, the crescent hangs 4 degrees to the left of Mars.
Jupiter appears above the east-southeast horizon around 2 a.m. and culminates at dawn 27 degrees high in the south. The Red Planet shines a few degrees to its left, but the gap between them is increasing from day to day. On the morning of February 7, the last quarter Moon hangs 7 degrees to the upper right of Jupiter. The next morning, February 8, the lunar crescent appears between Mars and Jupiter, completing a large, flattened triangle with the two planets.
Saturn emerges above the southeast horizon around 5:30 a.m., and gains some height during dawn until it becomes lost in the brightening glow of approaching sunrise. The thin crescent moon passes less than 2 degrees above Saturn on the morning of February 11.