February offers great viewing of five planets, including Mars Houston Chronicle

February is a planet-watcher’s special. Four of the five planets visible to the naked eye are on display, and even Mercury may be spotted if the sky is clear this week. Mars rises after midnight. The red planet appears to be moving eastward from the stars of Libra toward those of Scorpius, which it joins at the end of February. The Earth actually is overtaking Mars in their race around the sun. By summer the distance between the two will shrink from the present 112 million miles to 42 million. Little detail on Mars is visible now, but that will change as the planet nears opposition.