Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 44

FEBRUARY 2021 OBSERVING
Planetary Almanac

PLANET VISIBILITY (40°N, naked-eye, approximate) Mercury is visible at dawn after the
19th * Venus is visible at dawn until the 7th * Mars transits at sunset and sets around midnight *
Jupiter is visible at dawn after the 18th * Saturn is visible at dawn after the 20th.

Mercury

February Sun & Planets
Date

Feb 1

10

Sun

28

19

Mercury

Venus

1

15

28

Venus

Mars

1

15

28

Declination

Elongation

Magnitude

Diameter

Illumination

Distance

1

20h

58.1m

-17° 11′

-

-26.8

32′ 28″

-

0.985

28

22h

43.6m

-8° 04′

-

-26.8

32′ 18″

-

0.991

1

21h

50.2m

-10° 51′

14° Ev

+1.1

8.8″

18%

0.760

10

21h 17.3m

-11° 54′

5° Mo

+4.8

10.4″

1%

0.648

19

20h 50.8m

-14° 58′

19° Mo

+1.1

9.5″

22%

0.710

28

21h

01.6m

-16° 12′

26° Mo

+0.2

8.0″

45%

0.843

1

20h

05.0m

-20° 58′

13° Mo

-3.9

10.1″

98%

1.652

10

20h 51.9m

-18° 34′

11° Mo

-3.9

10.0″

98%

1.672

19

21h 37.2m

-15° 26′

9° Mo

-3.9

9.9″

99%

1.689

28

22h 20.9m

-11° 44′

7° Mo

-3.9

9.8″

99%

1.703

1

2h

37.6m

+16° 44′

90° Ev

+0.4

7.9″

89%

1.192

15

3h

08.4m

+19° 03′

84° Ev

+0.7

7.0″

89%

1.329

28

3h

38.7m

+20° 57′

78° Ev

+0.9

6.4″

90%

1.457

1

20h 49.5m

-18° 19′

2° Mo

-2.0

32.5″

100%

6.070

28

21h 14.9m

-16° 34′

23° Mo

-2.0

33.0″

100%

5.972

1

20h

29.8m

-19° 26′

7° Mo

+0.6

15.2″

100%

10.959

28

20h

42.5m

-18° 41′

31° Mo

+0.7

15.4″

100%

10.811

Uranus

15

2h

18.7m

+13° 24′

71° Ev

+5.8

3.5″

100%

20.072

Neptune

15

-5° 09′

23° Ev

+8.0

2.2″

100%

30.831

Mars
Jupiter

Jupiter

Saturn
15

Saturn

Right Ascension

23h 22.9m

The table above gives each object's right ascension and declination (equinox 2000.0) at 0h Universal Time on selected dates,
and its elongation from the Sun in the morning (Mo) or evening (Ev) sky. Next are the visual magnitude and equatorial diameter.
(Saturn's ring extent is 2.27 times its equatorial diameter.) Last are the percentage of a planet's disk illuminated by the Sun and
the distance from Earth in astronomical units. (Based on the mean Earth-Sun distance, 1 a.u. is 149,597,871 kilometers, or
92,955,807 international miles.) For other dates, see skyandtelescope.org.

15
Uranus

Mars

Neptune

December
solstice

10 "

Uranus

Earth
Mercury

S PLANET DISKS have south up,
to match the view in many telescopes.
Blue ticks indicate the pole currently tilted
toward Earth.

Neptune

X ORBITS OF THE PLANETS
The curved arrows show each planet's
movement during February. The outer
planets don't change position enough in
a month to notice at this scale.

44

FEBRUARY 2 021 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

Sept.
equinox

March
equinox

Jupiter

Sun

Saturn

Venus
June
solstice


http://www.skyandtelescope.org

Sky & Telescope - February 2021

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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 1
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Contents
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