What’s Up in the February Sky

February ’s Evening Planets:

Bright Venus will be up until around 8:30 PM Pisces the Fish.  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.

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:

Mercury could be seen in Aquarius the Water bearer for an hour before sunrise in the last week in February. Mars could be seen as of 4 AM moving between Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer and Sagittarius the Archer.  Jupiter and Saturn can be seen in Sagittarius the Archer as of 5 AM in the second half of the month. Dwarf Pluto will in Sagittarius the Archer as of 6 AM and rising earlier morning.

February ’s Morning Stars:

For a couple of 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   1  First Quarter Moon at 8:42 PM
  • Feb   9  Full Moon at 2:35 AM
  • Feb 10  Moon at perigee (224,000 miles away)
  • Feb 15  Third Quarter Moon 5:15 PM
  • Feb 23  New Moon at 10:30 AM
  • Feb 26  Moon at apogee (252,500 miles away)
  • Feb 27  Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Antares line up, Pre-dawn

Times given in EDT.

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