Today Mercury passes through superior conjunction, passing behind the Sun as seen from the Earth. The planet will appear in the sunset near the end of the month, reaching maximum elongation on June 12th.
Tonight a bright Jupiter, shining at -2.1 magnitude, will be just under 5° from a pretty crescent Moon. Look for a 20% illuminated Moon with Jupiter just above. The pair will be 50° above the western horizon at sunset.
Tonight the Moon and Jupiter will be close. Look for the pair about 40° above the western horizon at sunset. The Moon will be about 13% illuminated and about 7° below a bight Jupiter. Tomorrow the Moon will have moved to the other side of Jupiter but will be even closer, a little under 5° separation at sunset.
Tomorrow morning, on April 8th, a thin crescent Moon will share the sky with Mercury. The pair will be separated by 8°41′ with the Moon further north. Both will be about rise within minutes of each other about 04:55HST and both will be about 16° above the horizon at sunrise. At magnitude 0.1 Mercury should be easy to spot, making a nice companion to a 3% illuminated Moon.
This evening will see the Moon and Jupiter quite close, about 2° apart at sunset. Look for the bright pair high in the western sky as the sky grows dark. The Moon will be about 36% illuminated and Jupiter will be quite bright at -2.2 magnitude.
Tomorrow morning, on March 10th, the Moon and Mercury will form a close pair. The Moon will be a very thin crescent, only 1.75% illuminated. Mercury will be only 2° below, shining at 2.7 magnitude. The pair will rise about 05:38HST, and will be 12° above the horizon at sunrise.
Tonight and tomorrow the pair of planets, Mercury and Mars will be about 30′ apart, close enough to easily fit in the low power view of most small telescopes. The pair will be 13° above the sunset, setting about an hour after the Sun slides below the horizon.
After the 8th the pair will separate, with Mercury heading for maximum elongation on February 16th.
For the next few evenings Mercury and Mars will pair in the sunset for a dance. Tonight the two are 3°13′ apart, with Mercury rising rapidly. Tomorrow the two will be only 2°17′ apart. On the 7th and 8th there will be about 30′ between the two. After the 8th the two will gradually draw apart. On the 10th the separation will be just over 2° with the addition of a 1.8% illuminated Moon just 7° lower and north of the pair.
The pair should be easy to spot. Mercury will be shining brightly at -1 magnitude with Mars at about 1.2 magnitude. A pair of binoculars might help spot the dimmer Mars.
Neptune is also in this dance, but at 8th magnitude it could be very difficult or impossible to spot, even with optical aid. On the 5th, with Mercury and Mars only 2° apart, Neptune will be right between the two.
Tonight and tomorrow night Mars and Neptune will be under a degree apart. But, as the pair is quite low in the sky, this may not be observable. The planets will be 40′ apart tonight, a little closer tomorrow at only 27′ separation. The pair will be 14° above the horizon at sunset. Mars, shining a 1.2 magnitude should be relatively easy to spot. The 8th magnitude Neptune may be too dim to see, even with a telescope, against the bright glow of sunset.
On the evening of February 5th, Mercury will join in to create a trio, just 2° below Mars with Neptune between the two.