The morning sky before dawn has a beautiful alignment of planets. Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all morning objects at this time. Start looking southeast at 5:30-6 a.m. You should see the faint, reddish Mars. To its right is brighter, yellowish Saturn and the rather bright Jupiter. As we approach sunrise you may note a very dim dot rising in the east. This is Mercury. It is faint and close to the horizon, but it is worth the try. It rises about 6:15 a.m., half an hour before the sun.

For a star chart, use heavens-above.com. Tell it your location: Houston or Longitude -95 and Latitude 30. The sky chart link is on the left. Tell it the date and time you will observe. It will generate the chart, including the planets.

The observatory remains closed. To join our email distribution list, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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