• Mel Hulbert

What’s in the Sky - February 2021

Moon Phase:

Last Quarter 5th

New Moon 12th

First Quarter 20th

Full Moon 27th


Planets:

Evening Sky

Mars is in the northwestern sky after sunset, starting the month in the constellation of Aries and moving into Taurus in the second half of the month.

Morning Sky

Venus is very low in the eastern sky just before sunrise starting the month in Sagittarius and moving to Capricornus. In the last week of the month Venus moves into Aquarius.

Saturn returns to the morning sky in the constellation Capricornus and is low in the eastern sky at the end of the first week of the month.

Jupiter is low in the eastern twilight sky from the middle of the month in the constellation of Capricornus.

Mercury makes a return to the morning twilight sky from the middle of the month, moving from Aquarius into Capricornus.

Worth a Look:

6th & 7th: Venus and Saturn are close together in the early morning twilight sky. On the 6th the pair are separated by less than a degree.

11th: The waning crescent Moon is above and to the right (south) of Venus and Jupiter and below and to the right (south) of Saturn. With a clear view to the eastern horizon, this could make for a lovely widefield image.

14th: In the twilight morning sky, four planets are close together: Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus. A clear eastern horizon is essential to see this grouping as they are close to the horizon. Binoculars may be needed to see all of the planets due to the glow from twilight. A good opportunity for wide-field photographers with the planets close to the horizon.

19th: The first quarter Moon is above and slightly to the right (north) of the red planet, Mars. The Pleiades star cluster (M45) is slightly below and to the right (north) of the first quarter Moon. While the light from the first quarter Moon will interfere with viewing the Pleiades, a few nights after will be ideal for observing and/or photographing the cluster and Mars.


You can download a star map for February here.

Clear Skies!



References:

Dawes G., Northfield P., Wallace K. (2020). Astronomy 2021 Australia, Quasar Publishing.

Lomb, N. (2020). 2021 Australasian sky guide. Ultimo, NSW: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Media.