This Month’s Sky – February 2014


February’s Evening Planets: Jupiter is viewed most of the night in Gemini the Twins, getting lower in the sky each night. Mercury is up the first week towards the west after sun-set, then joins the morning planets in late February. Mars rises in Virgo the Maiden around 11 p.m. in early February, but appears earlier each night later in the month. Saturn rises after 1 a.m. and lingers until morning.

February’s Evening Stars: Sirius, the brightest star viewed from Earth, will be visible most of the night in Canis Ma-jor the Great Dog. Orion will dominate the sky to the south, with red Betelgeuse shining at its left shoulder, and blue-white Rigel at its right foot. Vega in Lyra the Harp rises after 2 a.m. in the northeast, joining constellations Gemini, Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Auriga, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Perseus, and the two Dippers.

February’s Morning Planets: Venus rises in Sagittarius, from 4:30 a.m/early month to 4:00 a.m/late month. Mars and Sat-urn both linger in the early morning sky for all of February.

February’s Morning Stars: Spot Spica in Virgo the Maiden, Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion, Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman, and the faint stars of Libra the Scales.

February’s “Skylights”

February 3 Mars is 4.6o north/northeast of Spica
February 6 First Quarter Moon at 2:22 p.m. (EST)
February 8 Moon is 2.3o north of Aldebaran
February 11 Moon is 2.3o south of Jupiter
February 14 Full Moon at 6:53 p.m. (EST)
February 15 Moon is 4.8o south/southwest of Regulus. Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun
February 19 Moon is 1.8o northeast of Spica. Moon is 3.0o south/southwest of Mars
February 21 Moon is 0.32o south/southeast of Saturn
February 22 Last Quarter Moon at 12:16 p.m. (EST)
February 23 Moon is 7.8o above Antares. Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun
February 25 Moon is 0.2o north of Venus
February 27 Moon is 2.8o north/northwest of Mercury