Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 6:35, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:12. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:39 tomorrow morning.
Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west for most of the evening. It will set at 10:34 p.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning. Mars will rise in the southeast at 4:19 a.m. It’s getting as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s 157 million (253 million km) miles away, and it’s getting slowly closer to the Earth at the rate of about 6 million miles (9 million km) a week. However it’s brighter than Betelgeuse. Jupiter will rise at 4:46 a.m. Lastly, Saturn will rise at 5:14 tomorrow morning. Mars is catching up to Jupiter and Saturn. It will pass south of Jupiter on the 20th, and Saturn on the 31st. It might be worth getting up for before 6 a.m. to spot.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.