While Wednesday night’s lunar eclipse will dominate the news in the coming week, observers also will have the rare opportunity throughout the week to view five planets in the evening and early morning sky.

Saturn and Mars

The ringed planet Saturn is closest to the Earth this weekend. The distant planet is in opposition and about 778 million miles away. Its position in the sky is the best part. Saturn rises in the east with the setting of the sun and remains viewable through the night. Saturn is high, almost overhead, at midnight and sets in the west at sunrise.

Morning Planets

The best show in town is in the early morning, in the week ahead. The moon, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. There is a change from day to day.

Daylight Saving Time

Gardeners, farmers and fishermen receive a present on Sunday. It isn’t for their pockets, but it just as well might be. An additional hour of daylight arrives at the end of the day with Daylight Saving Time coming on Sunday.

Early Spring

Spring arrives on Thursday at 1:48 a.m. For those who like to keep track of such events, this is an unusually early start for the season and it is due to this being a leap year. Usually spring arrives a day later on the 21st.

Spring Full Moon

Tonight’s full moon is the first full moon of spring. The moon is right on the celestial equator.

Moon and Planets

The moon visits with a bright red star and two of the brightest planets in our southeastern sky in the week ahead.


A thin crescent moon on Tuesday night appears close to the star cluster Pleiades in the zodiacal constellation Taurus. The two appear in the southwestern sky after sunset. The best view is through a pair of binoculars. With glasses the moon appears to graze right by the star cluster.

Moon and Planets

The moon and Mars appear as a pair tonight. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Gemini. Mars is a dull reddish color and appears to the right of the moon.

Moon and Saturn

The gibbous moon moves up beside the brightly ringed planet Saturn on Monday and Tuesday evenings. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Leo. The bright star Regulus is nearby.