Jeffers Foundation

ASTRONOMY

Astronomy

February, 2018

Highlights
Highlights
If you were above the atmosphere, you would be able to see all of the naked eye planets, lined up along the south. The ecliptic lies low to the horizon, at less than 22 degrees. This was the altitude of the Sun at the solstice just two months earlier. Go out at 6:30 am on February 8 and find the Moon, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn in the morning sky. Though not visible due to the Sun's glare, Mercury and Venus join the rest of the planets after sunrise. From Venus on the eastern side of the Sun to Jupiter on the west, it's only 94 degrees. That's an exceptionally crowded sky.

Morning Sky

The Moon passes Spica on February 5. Mars and Jupiter are joined by the Moon on February 8. Look south before sunrise. Saturn rises about 5 am. The Moon joins Saturn on February 11. During the month, Mercury and Venus are moving behind the Sun, into the evening sky, and stay lost in its glare. Mercury reaches Superior Conjunction on February 7, passing behind the Sun, as seen from Earth.

Evening Sky

During the month of February, all five naked-eye planets are setting before the Sun. The Moon rises near Regulus on the first of the month. On the evening of February 23, the Moon joins Aldebaran, setting together in the west near midnight. Just before midnight on February 28, the Moon passes within half a degree of Regulus.

Sun Declination

PHENOMENA

1st, Moon near Regulus in west - Before Sunrise

7th, Last Quarter Moon - 9:54 am

11th, Moon apogee (252,090 miles) - 8:16 am

15th, New Moon Crust of Snow (Ojibwe) - 3:05 pm

21st, Venus 0.58 degrees south of Neptune - 8:20 am

23rd, First Quarter Moon - 2:09 am

23rd, Rising Moon near Aldebaran - 2:23 pm

25th, Mercury 0.48 degrees south of Neptune - 4:07 am

27th, Moon perigee (226,137 miles) - 8:39 am

28th, Moon near Regulus high in south - near midnight

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