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Star and Space Station Gazing in 2024

Jupiter shines bright this week – Tuesday, 6 Feb to Wednesday 14 Feb.
 |  The Informer  | 

Using the Moon in both the morning and evening skies can help us find Venus, Mars, Mercury and Saturn this week as it moves across the sky. It must be back in the same spot in just 28 days as it travels in its orbit around the Earth. Mercury is soon to be lost from view as it rapidly approaches the Sun in the mornings along with Venus which will be joined by Mars at the end of the week. Jupiter remains a brilliant object visible just after dusk in the northeastern sky but is getting ever lower as it moves towards the Sun while much fainter Saturn lies very low in the west but will be very hard to spot and soon becomes lost in the Sun’s glare. There will be one Chinese Tiangong and lots of International Space Station (ISS) passes to enjoy this month and on Friday, 9 Feb, we can see them both in the evening sky at the same time which is quite rare.

Tuesday, 6 Feb:
The crescent Moon is now next to Scorpio’s tail just to the left of the twin stars of its stinger at dawn.

Wednesday, 7 Feb:
The thin crescent Moon is just to the left of the spout of the teapot or Sagittarius at dawn with Venus, reddish Mars and Mercury below.

Thursday, 8 Feb:
The Moon now sits right next to Venus next to the teapot’s handle with Mars and Mercury below at dawn. There is a long ISS pass from 6:09am in the SW and another shorter one from 9:13pm in the north after it has completed one orbit of the Earth.

Friday, 9 Feb:
The Moon is now very low down at dawn just above faint Mercury. A space station feast today with another two ISS and one Tiangong passes. The first long and bright ISS one will be from 5:20am in the SW and then again from 10:01pm starting just next to Jupiter in the NW and disappearing into the Earth’s shadow next to the Southern Cross.

Saturday,10 Feb:
Another bright and long ISS pass from 9:13pm in the NW next to Jupiter.

Sunday, 11 Feb:
Right at sunset we have a minute crescent Moon just to the right of Saturn almost on the western horizon with an ISS pass from 10:02pm in the west.

Monday,12 Feb:
The thin crescent Moon at sunset is now above and to the right of Saturn low in the west in Pisces having moved to the other side of the Sun with a good ISS pass from 9:13pm in the west.

Tuesday, 13 Feb:
The crescent Moon is now about half way between bright Jupiter at sunset and faint Saturn almost on the western horizon.

Wednesday, 14 Feb:
The crescent Moon at dusk is approaching bright Jupiter as it passes through Pisces.

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