Your tour guide to the night sky.. We have some exciting happenings in the sky in January and February, and they involve the planets Mercury and Mars. What am I talking about? Let me show you: Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system., It gets its name from the messenger of the Roman gods because of its speed.. Mercury takes only 88 days to complete one orbit of the Sun.. This means that if you are 10 years old on Earth, you’d be over 40 years old in Mercury years., Mars has facscinated astronomers and science fiction writers for centuries. Mars got its name because its red color reminded the ancient Romans of blood war and violence.. So they named it after their god of war. Mars, takes 687 days to orbit the Sun. That’s almost 2 years on our calendar.. So if you are 10 years old on Earth, you’d be just over 5 years old in Martian years.. Both Mercury and Mars will be visible in the evening sky over the next few weeks, but by the end of February, Mercury will appear in the sky just before sunrise. Let’s check it out. Alright, we have our sky set for 700 pm on January 20, facing South. High in the sky, you’ll see the first quarter, Moon just south of the red planet. Mars., Both objects are in the constellation of Pisces the Fish.. This area of the sky is often referred to as quotThe Seaquot, because many constellations in this area are associated with water.

. For example, just to the south of Pisces is ‘Cetus. The Whale’. Cetus also represents ‘The Kraken’, a fierce sea monster that defeated by Perseus the hero. As he rescued the Princess Andromeda. To the south of Cetus, we have a huge constellation called ‘Eridanus’.. This constellation represents a river and it’s brightest and southernmost star is Achernar.. Only people who live south of 30 degrees, north latitude are able to view this star clearly.. So if you’re ever visiting Florida check it out Setting in the west southwest, we have ‘Aquarius the Water Bearer’., He was a favored servant of Zeus and he also held the title of ‘nectar distribution specialist for the gods’.. If you look closely near the horizon, you’ll see the planet. Mercury. Mercury is in Capricornus, the Sea Goat, most of which is below the horizon. At this time of year. At sunset on January 25, Mercury reaches its highest point in the evening sky.. We call this event. ‘Greatest eastern elongation’., This means that Mercury is as far away from the Sun as it’ll appear on this trip. Around.. Nevertheless, you’ll still need a clear view of the horizon to see it. Mars and the Moon do a repeat of their meeting in January, with an even closer paring on February 18th. Let’s head outside at about 700 pm facing southwest, and you can see an almost first Quarter, moon less than 4 degrees away from Mars., Both The Moon and Mars will be in the constellation Aries.

The Ram. It’s two brightest stars are Hamal and Sheratan.. Hamal is the 50th brightest star in the sky and is an evolved, orange giant star 66 light years away and is about 91 times. The brightness of the Sun. Sheratan is the second brightest star in Aries and it marks the ram’s second horn. It’s, a white main sequence, star approximately 60 light years away and over twice the mass and 23 times the brightness of the Sun.. Now, for you early birds, we have some cool happenings as well. We have. Our sky set to 630 am on February 28th facing east southeeast.. That morning, Mercury Jupiter and Saturn have a close gathering low in the sky. They’re visible for less than a half hour before sunrise. So you’ll have to make sure you have a clear view of the horizon and you’re outside ready to view them before they get washed out by the glare of the Sun.. Jupiter is the bright light closest to the horizon, and just above it we have Mercury and then just above and to the right. We have Saturn. All three planets are in Capricornus and should prove to be a dazzling sight.. Alright, my friends get outside and check out the sky this month Before you do make sure you click on the ‘subscribe’ button below.. The stars will thank you for it. And …. If youd like to support our program, click on the Patreon link in the description and you could qualify for autographed The Sky Above Us memorabilia, and you could see your name in the credits of our next episode.

Mercury and Mars await you, especially when you … quotKeep.