Catch a ‘Conjunction Triple Play’ on February 20th as the Moon Meets Venus & Mars

The Moon passes Mars and Venus last month... this week's pass is much closer! (Photo by Author).

Fear not, the chill of late February. This Friday gives lovers of the sky a reason to brave the cold and look westward for a spectacular close triple conjunction of the planets Mars, Venus and the waxing crescent Moon.

This week’s New Moon is auspicious for several reasons.  We discussed the vagaries of the Black Moon of February 2015 last week, and the lunacy surrounding the proliferation of the perigee supermoon. And Happy ‘Year of the Goat’ as reckoned on the Chinese luni-solar calendar, as this week’s New Moon marks the start of the Chinese New Year on February 19th. Or do you say Ram or Sheep? Technical timing for the New Moon is on Wednesday, February 18th at 23:47 UT/6:47 PM EST, marking the start of lunation 1140. The next New Moon on March 20th sees the start of the first of two eclipse seasons for 2015, with a total solar eclipse for the high Arctic. More on that next month!
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