February 2020 Sky Report

February will continue the trend of the bright planets putting on a show in the morning. If you’re in California on February 18, you’ll definitely want to check out what happens that morning!

First Quarter Moon: February 2
Full Moon (Snow Moon): February 9
Last Quarter Moon: February 15
New Moon: February 23

Featured Constellation
Canis Major
Canis Major

Latin for “Great Dog,” this constellation is easy to spot thanks to the brightest star in the night sky known as Sirius, which in turn is also nicknamed “the Dog Star.” This bright blue star is often mistaken for a planet, and it’s only bright by sheer factor of being one of the closest stars to our Sun.

The rest of the stars in this constellation can actually form the shape of a dog, with Sirius representing the “heart” while there is a spine, two sets of legs, a head, and a tail!

Any Notable Celestial Events?

Three Planets And the Moon – February 17-20

In the early morning skies before dawn on the 17th, you will see our Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn all lined up, with the moon moving and appearing each morning next to a different planet on the 18th, 19th, and 20th. Of course, if you’re in California, you will definitely want to check out what happens on February 18! You will want to look southwest with an unobstructed view!  Overall Rating: These nights will have impressive sights worth checking out! A separate article about this event will be published shortly before the event!

Mars Moon Occultation – February 18

If you’re in the right location at the right time, you can see Mars get eclipsed by the moon in the early morning sky! Viewers along the west coast, especially California can see this happen around 3:30 am local time, as you’ll see Mars disappear behind the Moon, and then reemerge an hour later! Overall Rating: These are “lucky rare” events that should definitely be on your bucket list!  More Info and Livestream times will be published on a separate article just in case you didn’t hear from us!

Can You Just Tell Me Where the Planets Are Visible?

Mercury: Will be best seen on February 8-11 in the southwestern sky at dusk, when it’s at its furthest from the Sun before it starts appearing to move back towards it.  Soon after it gets in close proximity, it will be lost in the Sun’s glare later in the month.

Venus: Will be an easy bright target in the southwestern skies after dark, visible for a couple hours at the most after sunset. Its “phase” as seen through a telescope will be resemble a “half moon,” where half of the planet will appear illuminated while the rest will appear in shadow.

Earth: For the last time, it’s not flat!

Mars: Will be an early morning target in the southeastern skies around 5 am. It will gradually shift from Scorpius to Sagittarius.

Jupiter: In the constellation Sagittarius, It will be an early morning target in the southeastern sky before sunset. You’ll want to get up at 5 am to see it.

Saturn: Same as Jupiter, it’ll be an early morning target in the southeastern sky in front of Sagittarius.

Uranus: In the constellation Aries, it will be a great telescope target in the southern to southwestern sky. It’ll set around 10 pm local time.

Neptune: As it’s in front of Aquarius, for most of February it’ll be lost in the Sun’s glare.

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