Lately, it’s been darker and a bit more depressing in the morning since we went to ‘Daylight Time’. But you have friends in the sky ready to cheer you every clear morning. Look out to the south* -there are two bright dots in the sky – Saturn and Mars. I’ve seen them as late as 6:15am in the dawn sky. Saturn and Mars are about a hand’s width apart, and about the same distance above similarly bright star, Antares.
Take a look at the southern sky on your way to work – look for the color difference between Saturn and Mars. Does Antares live up to its reputation as the ‘rival of Mars’? Check them out while waiting for your train or elevated subway or bus.
In a telescope at more than 30 or 40 power, Saturn’s rings are visible. At the same power, Mars is still a tiny reddish dot, appearing smaller than Saturn in a telescope. Sometimes Mars has some darker surface features.
*South is a right turn from where the sun rises these spring morning.