February 2018 – Where to look for the planets

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Use the finder charts on this page to guide you to where to look for the planets in February 2018.

A few pointers:

  • All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
  • Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are prepared for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia (including Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane).
  • Chart times are given in AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. Remember to change for ‘Summer Time’ if this is in force in your location.

10 February 2018 – Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Antares finder chart – Early morning sky

Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Antares (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Scorpius ‘The Scorpion’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 4 am AEST / 5 am AEDT on Saturday 10 February 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

20 February 2018 – Moon and Uranus close in the early evening sky

Moon and Uranus finder chart. Stars are shown to magnitude 8 to assist with ‘star hopping’ from the Moon to Uranus. Binoculars or a small telescope are required. Chart prepared for 8 pm AEST / 9 pm AEDT on Tuesday 20 February 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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