Tuesday, February 23 – Mercury swings towards Saturn (pre-dawn)
On the mornings surrounding Tuesday, February 23, the orbital movement of Mercury will deliver it inside a number of finger widths of Saturn. At closest strategy on Tuesday, magnitude 0.5 Mercury will sit four levels left (celestial northeast) of barely dimmer Saturn. Use binoculars (pink circle) to search for the 2 planets sitting simply above the southeastern horizon after they rise at about 6 a.m. native time. Brighter Jupiter will rise about 20 minutes after them.
Tuesday, February 23 – Moon passes Kappa Geminorum (at 6:40 p.m. EST)
On Tuesday night, February 23, observers in Canada and South America will see the Moon graze or carefully miss medium-bright star Kappa Geminorum (or κ Gem). Observers within the japanese continental United States and Central America can watch the waxing gibbous Moon occult the star. The time of the move (or occultation) varies by latitude. Use Starry Evening or one other astronomy app to search for the occasions the place you reside, however bear in mind to begin watching a couple of minutes earlier than the appointed occasions. The occasion can be observable in binoculars and yard telescopes, however keep in mind that a telescope (pink circle) will seemingly invert and/or mirror the scene proven right here.
Wednesday, February 24 – Moon buzzes the Beehive (all evening)
After nightfall on Wednesday, February 24, the practically full Moon can be positioned simply two finger widths to the higher left (or 2 levels to the celestial north) of the massive open star cluster often called The Beehive (or Messier 44) within the constellation of Most cancers. These encounters happen often as a result of the cluster is positioned just one diploma north of the ecliptic (inexperienced line). The Moon and the cluster will each match throughout the subject of view of binoculars (pink circle), however the Moon’s brilliance will largely overwhelm the clusters’ stars. To see extra stars, strive inserting the Moon simply outdoors your optics’ subject of view. Through the evening, the diurnal rotation of the sky will shift the Moon above the Beehive.
Saturday, February 27 – Full Snow Moon (at 8:17 GMT)
The February full Moon, often called the Snow Moon or Starvation Moon, all the time shines in or close to the celebrities of Leo. Since it’s reverse the Solar on at the present time of the lunar month, the Moon is absolutely illuminated, and rises at sundown and units at dawn. When full, no shadows are solid by the lunar terrain — so all the albedo variations are produced by the Moon’s geology.
Chris Vaughan is a science author, geophysicist, astronomer, planetary scientist and an “outreach RASCal.” He writes Astronomy Skylights, and you may observe him on Twitter at @astrogeoguy. He may deliver his Digital Starlab transportable inflatable planetarium to your faculty or different daytime or night occasion. Contact him by way of AstroGeo.ca to tour the universe collectively.