Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

February Planets

Mercury can be seen at the very end of the month for about a half hour after sunset in the constellation Aquarius (the Water-Bearer). Mercury appears higher in the sky each evening and will be easier to see in March when it’s higher and brighter in the predawn sky. Mercury looks like a small white star.

Saturn can be seen very high in the southeastern sky at sunset in the constellation Gemini (the Twins). Saturn appears very bright this month, much brighter than the stars Castor and Pollux. Saturn is in a good position to view its rings and moons. Saturn sets in the west around 5:30 a.m. at the beginning of the month, and by 3:30 a.m. at the end of the month. Saturn looks like a very bright amber-colored star.

Jupiter can be seen rising about an hour before midnight in the eastern sky in the constellation Virgo (the Maiden). Jupiter rises earlier every night, and is getting brighter every night too. Jupiter is great to view this month, as so are its large Galilean moons. Jupiter passes medium-high through the southern sky. Before sunrise, Jupiter can be seen high in the southwestern sky at the beginning of the month, but low by the end of the month. Jupiter looks like a yellow-colored star.

Mars be seen rising in the southeastern sky about 5:00 a.m. in the constellation Sagittarius (the Archer). Mars rises about a half-hour earlier by the end of the month. Mars is still low in the southeastern sky at sunrise. Mars looks like a ruddy-colored star.

Venus cannot be seen this month as it passes through the constellation Capricornus (the Sea-Goat). Venus is moving toward the sun and is lost in the sun’s glare. Venus looks like a very bright white star.