"2003: The Year of the Amateur Telescope; A Cosmic Preview"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Dec 30-2003 Jan 05

The ringed planet Saturn—at its best viewing in 30 years—and the giant planet Jupiter currently make great targets for even a small telescope under evening skies...
(Shown around 8:00 PM during the first couple of weeks of January for mid-Northern latitudes.)

...While the two planets whose orbits are closest to Earth's—Venus and Mars—currently make great telescopic targets in the morning skies.  Later this year Mars will be making its best appearance in almost 60,000 years!
(Shown about an hour before sunrise during January and February for mid-Northern latitudes.  The inset shows Venus' changing phase and apparent size.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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