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  • February 8, 2021

Planets visible to the naked eye - February 8, 2021

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

From February 8 to 22, 2021

Mercury passes in inferior conjunction (between Earth and the sun) on February 8 and is not visible. The tiny planet then emerges in the morning sky where it undergoes a poor apparition: Between February 25 and March 10, look for Mercury 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 63 degrees high in the south and sets in the west-northwest after 12:30 a.m. During the evening of February 18, the thick crescent Moon comes within 3½ degrees to the south of Mars.

Jupiter is now too close to the Sun and is lost in our star’s glare. The Giant Planet passes behind the Sun (conjunction) on January 28 and will reappear at dawn in late-February.

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, thus becoming easier to spot in a darker sky with each passing day.

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