Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 15th. The Sun will rise at 7:42. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 6:11. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:18 this evening.
Let’s check out the bright planets for this week. Saturn can be glimpsed this morning in the southeast at 7 a.m. It will rise tomorrow at 4:10 a.m. in the east-southeast. Jupiter can be seen in the south-southwest this morning above the star Spica in Virgo and below left of the Moon. Jupiter will rise tonight in the east at 10:47 p.m. Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7 p.m. these planets will be seen in the west-southwestern sky. Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star, Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer. Venus will set at 9:52 p.m. while Mars will set at 10:14. Venus exhibits a dazzling crescent in small telescopes now, but a month from now as it gets closer to Earth the thinning crescent will be big enough to be seen in binoculars.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Venus and Mars in the evening twilight of about an hour after sunset. 7 p.m. February 15, 2017. Venus is now drawing away from Mars as it heads toward the Sun faster than Mars. Their apparent paths won’t cross again until October in the morning sky. Created using Stellarium.
Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight February 15, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Venus is getting closer to the Earth at 40.5 million miles, 65.2 million km. It is 38.3″ (arc seconds) in diameter, slightly smaller that Jupiter’s apparent diameter. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter in the south above the star Spica and the waning gibbous Moon to the right with Saturn in the southeast at 7 a.m. this morning, February 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium.
What the waning gibbous Moon might look like in binoculars this morning at 7 a.m. February 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and its moons hanging on the east side of the planet as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7 a.m. February 15, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7 a.m. February 15, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 15, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on February 16. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.