I’m always trying to get you out of your warm house and into the night to view the sky. Early morning of February 18th is one of those times that you’ll want get outside. The Moon is going to slide in front of Mars; an event called an occultation. A slight crescent Moon rises at 3:30 a.m. February 18th for Coal Creek Canyon. Just below and to the left, sits Mars. By 4:40 a.m., Mars will slip behind the bright side of the Moon. With the sky brightening, Mars’ light will burst from the dark side of the Moon at 6:00 am. You can watch the Moon and Mars drift farther apart until sunrise at 6:50 AM. You may not be able to make out the Milky Way with the glow of Denver to the east but the Moon and Mars sit squarely in the bright heart. This is a rare event and it should be quite the treat.
While you’re waiting for Mars to reappear, look for Jupiter low in the east at about 5 am. Saturn should be high enough in the east by about 5:45 a.m. At sunset, Mercury will be close to the Sun throughout February in the evening sky. But Venus shines brightly just after sunset making it an easy target.