What’s Up in the February Sky

February ’s Evening Planets:

Mercury could be seen between Aquarius the Water Bearer and Pisces the Fish until around 7 PM as of the second week of February, and until 8 PM in the second half of the month. Mars will be between Pisces the fish and Aries the Ram until around 11 PM. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water Bearer until 8 PM, setting earlier every night until 6 PM by the end of February. Uranus is in Pisces the Fish until midnight, setting earlier toward 10 PM through the month.

Sky Safari star map annotated with Annotable by Peter Tagatac.

February ’s Evening Stars:

The Winter Triangle will be up until after midnight this month: Sirius, the brightest star viewed from Earth, is in Canis Major the Great Dog; Betelgeuse is in Orion the Hunter; and Procyon is in Canis Minor the Small Dog. Spot Rigel in Orion, Capella in Auriga the Charioteer, Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull, and bright Castor and Pollux in Gemini the Twins. Also find the stars of constellations Cassiopeia, Perseus, Cepheus, Draco, Leo, Aries, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

 

 

February ’s Morning Planets:

Venus will be moving between Sagittarius the Archer and Capricornus the Sea-Goat from 5 AM until sunrise. Jupiter can be seen in Ophiuchus the Serpent/Snake Bearer as of 4 AM and rising earlier every night until 2 AM by the end of the month. Saturn will be in Sagittarius the Archer as of 6 AM and rising earlier every night until 6 AM by the end of February. Dwarf Pluto will in Sagittarius the Archer as of 7 AM and rising earlier morning.

Sky Safari star map annotated with Annotable by Peter Tagatac.

February ’s Morning Stars:

For a couple hours before sunrise, see the Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle. Look for Capella in Auriga, reddish Antares in Scorpius, Castor and Pollux in Gemini, Arcturus in Boötes the Herds-Man, and Spica in Virgo, along with the stars of constellations Leo, Hercules, Libra, Cancer, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

February  Skylights

  • Feb 2   Saturn is ½ ° south of Moon, Midnight
  • Feb 4   New Moon at 4:05 PM
  • Feb 5   Moon at apogee (252,600 miles away)
  • Feb 12  First Quarter Moon at 5:25 PM
  • Feb 18  Saturn is 1° south of Venus, Pre-dawn
  • Feb 19  Full Moon at 10:55 AM
  • Feb 19  Moon at perigee (221,600 miles away)
  • Feb 26  Third Quarter Moon 6:28 AM
  • Feb 25  Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Moon line up, Pre-dawn
  • Feb 26  Mercury at greatest eastern elongation 8 PM

Times given in EDT.

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