Mars Glides Between Two Nebulae

Mars between M8 and M20
In early March, users of telescopes or even large binoculars can see Mars gliding between two nebulae before dawn. The ticks show Mars's position at 0:00 Universal time (7:00 on the previous date Eastern Standard Time).
Sky & Telescope illustration.
For two days in early March, Mars glides between a close pair of nebulae in the constellation Sagittarius — the Lagoon (M8) and the much dimmer Trifid (M20). Take a look with large binoculars or a wide-field telescope before the very first light of dawn on the 5th and 6th. As the map here shows, the nebulae are only 1.4° apart. The ticks show Mars's position at 11:00 Universal Time (5:00 a.m. Central Standard Time). If you're not certain where to find the red planet, use our
interactive sky chart
to help you locate Mars as it rises in the southeast about 5:00 a.m. local time.