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  • February 22, 2021

Planets visible to the naked eye - February 22, 2021

  • Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
Photo: Sophie Desrosiers
Planets visible to the naked eye

From February 22 to March 8, 2021

Mercury passed in inferior conjunction (between Earth and the sun) on February 8 and undergoes a poor apparition in the morning sky between February 25 and March 10. Look for the tiny planet very low in the south-southeast, 30 minutes before sunrise.

Venus is too close to the sun and is not currently visible. The planet passes on the far side of the sun (superior conjunction) on March 26, and will gradually reappear as the bright Evening Star after mid-April.

Mars is receding from Earth, and although its brightness has decreased a lot since opposition last October, it’s still fairly bright. The Red Planet appears at dusk about 60 degrees high in the southwest and sets in the west-northwest around 12:30 a.m. On the evening of March 3, the Red Planet shines 2½ degrees below the Pleiades star cluster; from March 6 to 10, it passes between the Hyades and the Pleiades. During the evening of March 19, the thick crescent Moon hangs 3 degrees to the left of Mars.

Jupiter passed behind the Sun (conjunction) on January 28 and reappears at dawn in late-February. Look for the Giant Planet very low in the east-southeast, 30 minutes before sunrise. Jupiter is gradually pulling away from the Sun and appears higher in the sky each day, thus becoming easier to spot against a darker sky.

Saturn passed behind the Sun (conjunction) on January 23 and will reappear at dawn after mid-February: Look for Saturn very low in the east-southeast, 45 minutes before sunrise. The Ringed Planet is gradually pulling away from the Sun and appears higher in the sky each day, thus becoming easier to spot against a darker sky.

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