February’s Sky-lights: An Overview of This Month’s Sky

The+night+sky+glows+at+Mount+Rinjani%2C+Lombo+Island.

Courtesy of SkySeeker

The night sky glows at Mount Rinjani, Lombo Island.

Sarah Capper, Staff Writer

A note from the author: Before the reader reads the events for this month, here’s a little help: if you have a telescope and use it constantly, then be sure to look out for all the meteor showers and planets. 

On Tuesday, February 2nd, an asteroid named Asteroid 18 Melpomene will be at opposition.

On Wednesday, February 3rd, the Moon is at the perigee where the moon appears large as it makes its closest approach to the Earth.

On Sunday, February 7th, NGC 2808 is well placed, the globular cluster NGC 2808 (mag 6.2) in carina is well placed in the sky.

On Monday, February 8th, two events will happen: one of them is the Alpha Centaurids meteor shower, which will reach its peak and is a great time to watch the night sky. Mercury will also be at an inferior solar conjunction as Mercury passes around the near side of the Sun.

On Wednesday, February 10th, two events will happen; the Moon will be at perihelion when the Moon reaches its closest point to the sun. The conjunction of the Moon and Saturn will also happen when the Moon and Saturn share the same right ascension, at a separation of 3”24’.

On Thursday, February 18th, there will be three events happening. The Moon will beat apogee. The Moon appears small as it recedes to its furthest point from the Earth. There will also be a conjunction of the Moon and Mars. The Moon and Mars share the same right ascension, at a separation of 3”41’. And there will be a close approach of the Moon and Mars when the Moon and Mars pass within 3”28’ of each other.

On Friday, February 19th, M81 is well placed. Bode’s galaxy (M81, NGC 3031: mag 7.9) in Ursa major is well placed in the sky.

On Saturday, February 20th, NGC 3114 will be well placed. The open star cluster NGC 3114 (mag 4.2) in Carina is well placed in the sky.

On Monday, February 22nd, asteroid 29 Amphitrite will be at opposition. Asteroid 29 Amphitrite is well placed for observation.

On Saturday, February 27th, IC 2581 will be well placed. The open star cluster IC 2581 (mag 4.3) in Carina is well placed in the sky.

On Sunday, February 28, two events will happen on this day. Mercury reaches its highest point in the morning sky. Mercury is bright and well placed in the dawn sky. The Moon will also be at aphelion. The Moon reaches its furthest point from the sky.

 

Information regarding this month’s sky is from In The Sky.