Mornings with Saturn and Mars

Hey, sky fans. If you enjoy looking for planets, it’s another good time to be up late-slash-early. Late in the evening, around midnight and then on through the early morning, the giant planet Saturn — with the rings and the moons and stuff — and the planet Mars, the red one, are hanging around pretty low in the sky in the constellation Scorpius, right near the bright star Antares.

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Antares, whose name, interestingly enough, roughly means the enemy of Mars, is the 15th brightest star in the night, or in this case the morning, sky about 500 light years away. It’s typically thought of as a summer star, and is a positively huge; so big that it’d swallow up everything out to and even past Mars if it were suddenly to find itself where the Sun is. It’d be a bad scene here on Earth, that’s for sure. So, if you’ve got an anxious dog or an early train to catch, it’ll be quite a sight. The screen above, from Stellarium, is of what the sky to the south in my dusty outpost at around 4:30 tomorrow morning will look like.

Clear skies, everyone, and may the fourth be with you (did I really just write that? Yeah…)!

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