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Home / Explore / Experiences / RASC Observatory / Astronomy Info & Events: February

Astronomy Info & Events: February

Moon Phases

February 4: New Moon

February 12: First Quarter Moon

February 19: Full Moon (Snow Blinding Moon) Closest Full Moon of 2019!

February 26: Last Quarter 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 nine days of February. Exact times of these passages for your location can be found by visiting the website www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik.

February 1: Very sad 16th Anniversary of the loss of the Shuttle Columbia and Crew (2003).

February 2: Nice line-up of Saturn, the Moon, Venus and Jupiter in the eastern sky before sunrise.

February 11: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting

February 13: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to take a lunar lander built by the Israeli company SpaceIL to the Moon.

February 18: Family Day holiday

February 18: Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto 89 years ago (1930).

February 19: This is the biggest Full Moon of 2019 as the Moon is at perigee (closest distance to the Earth) at 356,761 km. This has been called a “Super Moon” by some.

February 27: Mercury at its greatest eastern elongation (18 degrees east). Best view of Mercury this year from our latitude.

February 27: The planet Jupiter can be found 2 degrees south of the waning crescent Moon in our eastern sky before sunrise.

Please check our website for the RASC Observatory’s operating dates and times. All openings are weather dependent.

Visible Planets

Mercury becomes visible in our western sky shortly after sunset starting around February 11. It then reaches its furthest angular distance from the Sun of 18 degrees on February 27. This is the best view of Mercury this year from our northern latitude.

Venus is found shining brilliantly in our southeastern sky before sunrise and is located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer. Look for a nice conjunction of the planet Saturn with Venus before sunrise on the morning of February 18.

Mars continues to shine high in our early evening southwestern sky. It begins the month within the constellation of Pisces, the fish, but moves into the adjacent constellation of Aries, the Ram, by the middle of the month. Look for Mars just above the waxing crescent Moon on the evenings of February 9 and 10. On February 12, the planet Uranus can be found about a degree from Mars. A telescope with a wide field of view would be needed to see these two planets together in the sky.

Jupiter is located in the constellation of Serpens Cauda (part of Ophiuchus), the tail of the serpent, and is seen rising in the early predawn hours along the southeastern horizon. By sunrise, Jupiter stands about 13 degrees above the southern horizon. On the morning of February 27 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 located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer. The very slim waning crescent Moon can be seen near Saturn before sunrise on February 2. On February 18 look for a nice close conjunction of the faint planet Saturn with the bright planet Venus.