Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 47

16h

14h

12h
10h
RIGHT ASCENSION

Vega

+30° CYGNUS

BOÖTES
HERCULES

+20°

26 - 27
VIRGO

AQUILA
OPHIUCHUS

Mercury

LIBRA

-10°

Regulus

10 am

2h

0h
Pleiades

Feb 19

EC

TAURUS

IC

Sirius

CORVUS

2 am

Rigel
ERIDANUS

Midnight

+20°
+10°

Neptune
CETUS

-20°

CANIS
MAJOR

4 am

+30°

0°
EQUATOR

ORION

HYDRA

6 am

+40°

16

-30°

SCORPIUS

8 am

ARIES

Mars
Uranus PISCES

Betelgeuse

T
LIP

22h
PEGASUS

CANCER

Antares

SAGITTARIUS

4h

Castor GEMINI
Pollux
22

Procyon

7

Jupiter
-30° Venus
-40°

4

Feb 1

Spica

Saturn

6h

LEO

Arcturus

+10°
0°

8h

D ECLI NAT I ON

18h

+40°

10 pm

8 pm

6 pm

LOCAL TIME OF TRANSIT
4 pm
2 pm

-40°

S The Sun and planets are positioned for mid-February; the colored arrows show the motion of each during the month. The Moon is plotted for evening dates in the Americas when it's waxing (right side illuminated) or full, and for morning dates when it's waning (left side illuminated). " Local time
of transit " tells when (in Local Mean Time) objects cross the meridian - that is, when they appear due south and at their highest - at mid-month.
Transits occur an hour later on the 1st, and an hour earlier at month's end.

opposition, Mars still shines brightly at
magnitude +0.8.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19
Its eastward motion along the ecliptic
positions the Moon between Aldebaran
and Pleiades this evening. A 20°-wide
swath of sky in Taurus includes Aldebaran, the Hyades, the Moon, the Pleiades,
and Mars, presenting a very attractive
naked-eye scene. Coincidentally, the
Moon reached first-quarter phase earlier
the same day.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23
Look high overhead this evening for a
fat gibbous Moon situated 4° south of

Feb 23

1st-magnitude Pollux in Gemini. Train
your binoculars at the Moon and you
might notice 3.6-magnitude Kappa (κ)
Geminorum just north and west of the
lunar disk. And if you're prepared to stay
up late, you can also see the Moon form
an evenly spaced, three-in-a-row configuration with Pollux and Castor. The
10°-long row is nearly perfectly aligned
around 3 a.m. EST (February 24th).

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Arguably, the most visually interesting planetary sight of the entire month
occurs at dawn today when a trio of
planets gather to form a tidy triangle,
low in the east-southeast. Jupiter,

Saturn, and Mercury have been gradually gaining elevation as they emerge
from recent conjunctions with the Sun.
On this date, Jupiter is brightest at
magnitude -2.0, followed by Mercury
at +0.3, and Saturn at +0.7. The trio
of worlds remains tightly grouped for
several days, though the triangle will
begin to distort as Mercury sinks lower
while Jupiter and Saturn climb higher.
Appealing geometry aside, the end of
February also signifies the start of new
apparitions for both Jupiter and Saturn.
„ Consulting Editor GARY SERONIK has
been watching the sky for five decades
but still isn't a " morning person. "

Dawn, Feb 14

Dawn, Feb 25

20 minutes before sunrise

30 minutes before sunrise

Castor
Pollux

Moon
Feb 23

κ

Moon
Feb 22

CAPRICORNUS

GEMINI
Mercury
Mercury

CANIS
MINOR
Procyon

Looking South,
high in the sky

Jupiter

Saturn

Looking East-Southeast

Saturn

Jupiter

Looking East-Southeast

sk yandtelescope.org * FEBRUARY 2 021

47


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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
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover3
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