If you are not sure how to find Mars and Saturn in the sky this month, let the moon be your guide.
You'll have to stay up late, but on Feb. 10 through Valentines Day on the 14th, the moon glides first past ruddy Mars and on down to Saturn. Saturn doesn't rise until late evening this month, so you'll have the best chance of seeing the ringed planet near the moon after midnight on the 12th and 13th. Mars rises earlier well before midnight now.
Can you see the color difference? Mars appears a ruddy orange-red, and through a telescope you may be able to spot the north polar cap (JPG, 71 KB). Check it next month too, has it shrunk?
Saturn appears as a light yellow glow, fainter than Mars. Through a telescope, prepare yourself for a wow view (JPG, 24 KB) of the beautiful rings, and possibly a few of Saturn's brighter moons.
Find out "What's Up" in the night sky each month using this monthly video. See http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/whatsup-archive.cfm.
And you can explore the cosmos from your computer using NASA's "Eyes on the Solar System" -- a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. See the entire solar system moving in real time.
What's Up Archives