Jeffers Foundation

ASTRONOMY

Astronomy

February, 2019

Highlights
Highlights
A Super Moon occurs when the full moon is within 90% of its closest approach to Earth. Since the Moon's orbit is not a perfect circle, its distance from the Earth changes, as it orbits. The closest point is called perigee. At this point, the Moon will look 14% bigger than at its most distant point: apogee. Since the Moon is all by itself in the sky, it may be difficult to notice the difference, but it is a perfectly good reason to encourage people to take a look. A rising Full Moon is always a thrill. There will be three Super Moons this year, 1/20, 2/19, and 3/20.

Morning Sky

To start the month, Saturn, the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter line up along the southeast, in the predawn sky of 2/1. Venus will spend all month low in the southeast before sunrise, moving away from us in its orbit and headed behind the Sun. Jupiter spends the month climbing higher into the morning sky. By month end, it is rising before 3:00 am with a nice pass from the Moon on 2/27. Saturn follows close behind, within one degree from Venus on 2/18.

Evening Sky

Mercury emerges from sunset by mid-month and reaches its Greatest Eastern Elongation on 2/27, when it is easiest to spot low in the west after sunset. More west than south, Mars continues to sit in the evening sky, with a visit from the Moon on 2/10. The Moon is close to Aldebaran on 2/13 and Regulus on 2/19.

Sun Declination

PHENOMENA

4th, New Moon - 3:04 pm

5th, Moon apogee; 252,622 miles - 3:28 am

12th, First Quarter Moon - 4:26 pm

13th, Moon near Aldebaran high in south - After sunset

13th, Mars 1.03° north of Uranus - 2:06 pm

18th, Venus 1.05° north of Saturn - 7:54 pm

19th, Moon near Regulus low in west - Before sunrise

19th, Moon perigee; 221,681 miles - 3:02 am

19th, Mercury 0.77° north of Neptune - 5:10 am

19th, Full Moon, Super Moon, Sucker (Ojibwe) - 9:53 am

26th, Last Quarter Moon - 5:28 am

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