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Skywatch: Look for planets & watch the Moon enter a well known asterism

The Moon will enter the "Winter Circle" this week.
Venus & Mercury in the Evening

If you’re out on Sunday night and the clouds clear take advantage and see the two innermost planets in the solar system. They’ll be in the west about an hour after sunset.

Venus will be higher in the sky an appear brighter. If you have a clear view of the horizon look for Mercury below and right of Venus. February will offer the best views of Mercury all year so if you get a chance to view it don’t pass it up.

The Moon Enters the "Winter Circle"

The Moon enters a popular asterism on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The Winter Circle is a pattern in that takes up a large portion of the sky and is made up of very bright stars visible in the winter.

The waxing gibbous will be easy to spot in the southern sky in the evening. Above is how you’ll find the view on Wednesday night.

A Trio of Planets

Early risers will be treated to a couple of planets this week as well. Mars and Jupiter are in the southeastern sky before daybreak all week long.

Mars will be higher in the sky but Jupiter will outshine the Red Planet below and left of it. If you have a clear view of the horizon look for Saturn, it’ll be below and left of the pair a little later. Because it comes up closer to sunrise don’t be surprised if it gets washed out by the sun’s glare.

The Full Moon

The Full Moon arrives early Sunday so you’ll be able to spot it on Saturday evening. It’s officially here at 2:33 a.m. Sunday morning and is known as the Full Snow Moon because of the heavy snowfalls we can see in February. Happy hunting!