National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Moon Passing Close to Venus and Mars (March, 2017)

March 1, 2017, 1hour after sunset, The sky of Tokyo
Download: Medium resolution (2000 x 1265) High resolution (5500 x 3480)

Let’s Focus on the Moon, Venus, and Mars in the Evening Sky

Around early-to-mid-March, Venus shines very brightly low in the western sky after sunset. On its upper left, Mars also can be seen. Mars has become much dimmer than it was last year when it made its closest approach to the Earth.

From February 28 to March 2, a thin moon appears to pass close to these two planets. On March 1, you can enjoy brilliantly bright Venus (brighter than -4 magnitude) and the Moon lined up a little ways away from each other. On the 1st and 2nd, Mars can be seen close to the Moon.

Let’s watch the gradually waxing Moon changing its position every day.

Reference: Ephemeris Computation Office

You can look up the rising and setting times for the Sun and the Moon, and the phases of the Moon in the “Koyomi Station” of the NAOJ Ephemeris Computation Office. You can find the appearance of the Moon and planets as seen from a typical city under “Sky Viewer.”