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Volume 23 -- Issue 2
Planet Watch -- February 2017

Mercury is visible over the eastern horizon for the first two weeks of the month but is not well placed above the horizon for northern hemisphere observers.
Venus is still dominating the skies over the southwestern horizon as it reaches its greatest brilliance or magnitude when it gets to -4.6 on the 18th.
Mars is over the southwest horizon at sunset and sets a few hours later.
Jupiter rises during mid to late evenings and is visible all night within a few degrees from the bluish-white star Spica in Virgo the Harvest Maiden.
Saturn rises several hours before the Sun and is high above the southeast horizon at sunrise.

Dwarf Planet Ceres is visible above the southwestern horizon at sunset and is near the outer planet Uranus, as well as another Dwarf Planet, Eris. However Ceres is within the main asteroid belt at a distance of 2.9 AU while Eris is a member of the outer solar system at a distance of 96.5 AU.