Sunrise Sunset

Fri., Feb. 20 6:30 5:20

Sat., Feb. 21 6:29 5:22

Sun., Feb. 22 6:27 5:23

Mon., Feb. 23 6:26 5:24

Tues., Feb. 24 6:24 5:25

Wed., Feb. 25 6:23 5:26

Thurs., Feb. 26 6:21 5:28

Fri., Feb. 27 6:20 5:29

A thin crescent moon hangs low in the east-southeastern sky mornings this weekend. The moon appears close to the horizon and alongside three planets: Mercury, Jupiter and Mars. You’ll need help with a pair of binoculars to be certain to catch all of them amid the glare of dawn. Jupiter is the brightest of the three planets and in the middle. Mercury is to the right of Jupiter. Mars is to to the left of Jupiter. The eastern sky has to be clear down to the horizon and the timing has to be right. Look more than a half hour before sunrise. The field of view is only a few degrees. On Monday morning the moon appears even closer to the horizon and the three planets are to the right.

New moon is on Wednesday. The moon starts to show up in our evening sky as a thin crescent on Thursday night.

Venus and Saturn

The two easiest planets to spot are Venus and Saturn. Venus is high in the western sky after sunset and it remains viewable in the west for hours.

Saturn rises in the eastern sky two hours after sunset and is only a few weeks from being at its closest to the Earth. Opposition, which takes place about every 12 1/2 months, will occur on March 8. The planet is 781 million miles away and only slightly brighter.