Great Skywatching Ahead

So great to see the sunshine today. Yes, that bright object in the sky that has been hiding behind the clouds. It made a grand appearance this morning.

LS 1

Sunrise in Lascassas by Herb

There will be several reasons to look up over the next several days especially in the night sky.Tonight the spring star Arcturus will be making an appearance.  It will be visible the rest of February and evenings in March.  It will climb in the east sky.  To find it look for the Big Dipper then follow the imaginary handle.  It will point you to the star.

LS Earth and Sky 1

Saturday look east during the early evening, that brilliant object you will see is no star.  It’s Jupiter just above the horizon.  It will reach it’s highest point about 12midnight. Jupiter can guide you to the Beehive star cluster over the next few months. Look for the star Regulus above Jupiter in the early evening.  When you find it draw an imaginary line through Jupiter to Regulus, keep going and you should see the Beehive cluster.

LS Earth and Sky 2

Sunday night there will be an increase in clouds and a chance of rain so this next one may be tricky to see. You will be looking for the red planet and the waning gibbous moon.  You can stay up late around midnight or get up early before dawn to see it.  Predawn on Monday is better because Mars will be higher in the sky.

LS Earth and Sky 3

On Tuesday morning (March 1) before the sun comes up you can see the moon, Mars and Saturn. To find the planets, the lit side of the moon will point toward Saturn and the dark side is in the direction of Mars. They will look different.  Saturn appears golden and Mars looks reddish.  Binoculars will help you see them better.

LS Earth and Sky 4

The International Space Station will also be passing over next week.  Some days will be better than others for viewing because of the weather and also because of the maximum height.  Here’s the list.

DATE/TIME        DURATION       MAX HEIGHT    APPEARS           DISAPPEARS

Fri Mar 4, 5:32 AM 4 min 48° 11° above SSW 39° above E
Sat Mar 5, 4:41 AM 3 min 23° 11° above S 21° above ESE
Sun Mar 6, 3:52 AM < 1 min 11° 11° above ESE 10° above ESE
Sun Mar 6, 5:25 AM 6 min 56° 12° above WSW 10° above NE
Mon Mar 7, 4:35 AM 3 min 67° 57° above S 18° above ENE

I hope you’ll be able to see some of these sights in the sky.  Thanks to earthsky.com for the great graphics and information.

Have a great weekend.

Lisa Spencer 🙂

posted 9pm

 

About Lisa Spencer

Lisa Spencer is the chief meteorologist at WSMV Channel 4 Nashville. You can catch her weathercasts weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm and 10pm.
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