The Planets for Spring 2020

Venus in early 2020 is a bright evening star and the lone naked eye planet in the evening sky. Before sunrise, however, there is a planet trio in the dawn sky as Mars has now joined Jupiter and Saturn in the morning hours. And, for a short time in late February/early March, Mercury joins the group as well. Some nice pairings of the crescent Moon and three (even four) planets happen this spring.

Mars has slipped into Sagittarius and is above the teapot all spring of 2020 along with Jupiter and Saturn. Look for Mars to be to the right of Jupiter in early March and watch it quickly slip past first Jupiter then Saturn and appear to the left of Saturn by the first week of April.

As for the other gas giants, Neptune is too close to the Sun for easy observation. As for Uranus, look for Venus and Uranus to get about 2° from each other March 7 and 8 in the western sky after sunset. Uranus too will soon slip behind the Sun.

The dwarf planet Pluto is also in Sagittarius and hangs around between Saturn and Jupiter all year. The best viewing will be in fall. Finder charts for all planets, dwarf planets and asteroids are found on our Useful links page.


Spring sky sights

See http://www.johns-astronomy.com for updated sky events.