Mars can be seen easily with the naked-eye. It looks like a red-coloured star when in fact, it is really a planet you’re seeing.
On the 18th February, what you won’t see with the naked eye are the the Lagoon Nebula and the Trifid Nebula. Mars will appear right between these two star forming regions of the Universe.
This will make an ideal opportunity for astrophotographers who like to capture wide field images. If the Moon is too bright to take the perfect wide field image, come back in three to four days. At 3.30am on the 22nd February, the Moon won’t have risen. However, the Lagoon Nebula and Trifid Nebula will appear above Mars.
When to look: 3.30am, 18th February
Which direction to look: East
For Telescopes and Binoculars
It’s a great time to get out binoculars and telescopes. With your telescope, find Mars first. Then move your telescope to find a nebula! The Trifid is to the left of Mars and the Lagoon is to the right. You will hopefully see a faint cloudy area. This is the gas that’s forming the new stars.
A nebula is a star forming region of the Universe. It can take hundreds of thousands of years for a new star to be born!
Want More Stargazing Tips?
There’s always something interesting happening in the night sky and country WA is the best place to catch all the action!