Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 46

FEBRUARY 2021 OBSERVING
Sun, Moon & Planets by Gary Seronik
To find out what's
visible in the sky from
your location, go to
skyandtelescope.org.

Three Planets Emerge at Dawn
The morning sky features plenty of solar system activity late in the month.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
Early risers can see the 30%-illuminated, waning crescent Moon situated
less than 4½° from 1st-magnitude
Antares at dawn. Binoculars will
enhance the star's orange hue and will
make earthshine - sunlight reflecting off the Earth and illuminating the
Moon's unlit portion - easier to see.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7
It's time to say farewell to Venus for
now. After this morning, it will be very
difficult to glimpse the brilliant planet
T These scenes are drawn for near the middle
of North America (latitude 40° north, longitude
90° west); European observers should move
each Moon symbol a quarter of the way toward
the one for the previous date. In the Far East,
move the Moon halfway. The blue 10° scale bar
is about the width of your fist at arm's length.

without optical aid. This brings to a
close Venus' long reign as Morning Star,
which began all the way back in June,
2020. The planet will return to the dusk
sky in mid-April.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Today Mercury is in conjunction with
the Sun. However, the fast-moving
planet won't be absent for long - it
reemerges as a naked-eye object at
dawn, around February 20th.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9
This evening, Uranus is positioned
between 6.9-magnitude SAO 92882 and
7.8-magnitude SAO 92879 in southern
Aries. The pale planet is 24′ from the
former and 5′ from the latter. Uranus
shines at magnitude 5.8, so there's
almost exactly one full magnitude

Dusk, Feb 1

Dawn, Feb 5 -7

30 minutes after sunset

45 minutes before sunrise

Moon
Feb 5

increments between the planet and
each star. All three objects are within
range of binoculars, though depending on the magnification, the faintest
star might be too close to Uranus to be
easily seen. (A detailed finder chart for
Uranus appeared in the October issue,
on page 51.)

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18
This evening finds Mars and a fat
crescent Moon separated by slightly less
than 3½°. (They're at their very closest
at 9:49 p.m. EST.) The duo will be a
fine naked-eye sight and close enough
together to fit into the field of view
of ordinary binoculars. The proximity of the neutral-toned Moon seems
to enhance the Red Planet's distinctive ruddy hue. Although four months
removed from its remarkable October

Dusk, Feb 18 -20
1 hour after sunset

E
Moon
Feb 6

10q

AQUARIUS

Antares

Moon
Feb 7

SCORPIUS

C a t 's
Eyes
Mercury

Moon
Feb 20

Pleiades
Moon
Feb 19

Aldebaran

TA U R U S

GCap
Looking West-Southwest

46

FEBRUARY 2 021 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

Looking South-Southeast

Looking South,
almost overhead

Mars

Moon
Feb 18


http://www.skyandtelescope.org

Sky & Telescope - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - February 2021

Contents
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 1
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 3
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 4
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 5
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 6
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 7
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 8
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 9
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 10
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 11
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 12
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 15
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 16
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 18
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 19
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 20
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 42
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 43
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 45
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 46
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 47
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover4
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