Planet, Moon Gathering Tonight

There will be an amazing gathering tonight around sunset, featuring Venus, Mars and a young, waxing crescent Moon. Look to the west-southwest at dusk. Tomorrow night, Feb. 21, Mars and Venus will appear even closer but the Moon will have moved on and be higher in the sky.

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Image courtesy Sky & Telescope

Tonight’s Rocket Launch from Wallops Island

The launch was originally scheduled for last night but was scrubbed due to a wayward boat entering the restricted waters. It has been rescheduled for tonight.

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Orbital Sciences’ unmanned Cygnus spacecraft is now scheduled to blast off atop an Antares rocket at 6:22 p.m. EDT (2222 GMT) from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

Use the above map to see when and where to look, or use the What’s Up at Wallops app which provides a directional compass to Wallops Island based on your device’s location!

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As an added bonus, reminds us that Mars and the Moon will appear close-by tonight. The Moon will be in the southwestern twilight sky and Mars will appear directly below. It should be a great evening for rockets and backyard astronomy!