Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 6:16, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:36. The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 6:12 tomorrow morning.
Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the southwest in the early evening. It will set at 10:03 p.m. Mercury is fading and will set only 58 minutes after the Sun. Mars is visible in the morning sky and will rise in the southeast at 4:34 a.m. It’s not very bright because it’s 167 million (268 million km) miles away, but it’s getting slowly closer to the Earth at the rate of about 4 million miles (6 million km) a week. Jupiter will rise at 5:32 a.m. Lastly, Saturn will rise at 6:04 tomorrow morning with the thin crescent Moon underneath it*. Jupiter will continue to approach Saturn throughout this year until their paths cross on December 21st.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
* Moon placement in this morning’s program was in error. The Moon ...