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February Stargazing Sky Guide

February Stargazing Guide

Welcome to our monthly stargazing newsletter!  If you want to find out more about this month’s events, then click here. https://www.battlesteads.com/observatory/calendar

Planets

Venus is still brightly on show throughout February but from about the 7th until about the 16th is joined by the planet Mercury.  (At it’s best on the 10th.)  Mercury will brighten up in the west just after sunset, but it’ll be very low down and you’ll need clear skies to see it.  (Use binoculars if you can’t see it naked eye.) Jupiter and Saturn continue to rise in the early morning before sunrise.

Moon

February’s full moon occurs on the 9th and is a SuperMoon!  What is a SuperMoon? Well, the Moon doesn’t orbit the Earth in a perfect circle but in a slightly squashed circle called an ellipse. This means that sometimes the Moon is a bit closer to us in its orbits than at other times.  Astronomically this is called a perigee syzygy moon – (SuperMoon is a bit easier to remember and this is a link to the definitive guide for SuperMoons until the year 2100. http://astropixels.com/ephemeris/moon/fullperigee2001.html)

To book onto one of our Moonwatch and Stargazing events click here. https://www.battlesteads.com/observatory/events/general-stargazing/stargazing–moonwatch

Double Cluster Comet

With a small telescope, or big binoculars, Comet c/2017 T2(panSTARRS) flies near the Double Cluster in February and here’s a sky map to help you find it https://s22380.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/T2-detail-SkyMap-768×481.jpg

 

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