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Home / Explore / Astronomy Info & Events: February

Astronomy Info & Events: February

The Visible Planets

Mercury becomes visible low in our west-southwestern sky after sunset starting around February 5. It then reaches its furthest eastern angular distance from the Sun of 18 degrees on February 10 but slowly sinks lower in the sky after each successive day until is disappears in the glare of the setting Sun. Mercury will be at inferior conjunction on February 25.

Venus is found shining brilliantly in our western sky after sunset this month. It begins the month in the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer, but then moves into the constellation of Pisces, the fish, and spends the rest of the month traversing this constellation. Look for a nice grouping of the waxing crescent Moon with the planet Venus on the evenings of February 26 and 27.

Mars slowly begins to gain elevation in our southeastern sky before sunrise this month. The brighter planet Jupiter will be seen gaining elevation to the lower left of the fainter Mars this month. Before sunrise on February 18, look for a very close conjunction of Mars with the waning crescent Moon.

Jupiter is found in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, and is seen rising before sunrise along the southeastern horizon. By sunrise, Jupiter stands about 8 degrees above the southeastern horizon. On the morning of February 19 Jupiter will be the bright point of light near the waning crescent Moon.

Saturn reappears low above the southeastern horizon before sunrise during this month and is found in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer. The very slim waning crescent Moon can be seen just below Saturn before sunrise on February 20.

Moon Phases

February 1 First Quarter Moon

February 9 Full Moon (Snow Blinding Moon)

February 15 Last Quarter Moon

February 23 New Moon

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

Look for passes of the International Space Station in the early evening sky for the first eight days of February. It then can be seen before sunrise from February 22 to the end of the month. Exact times of these passages for your location can be found by visiting the website http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik.