Dear Stargazer Friends,
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will remain visible through early February and will later be observable from the southern hemisphere. On 9 February, it should be visible near Mars.
Venus has become much more prominent since early January. On 22 February, look for Venus, Jupiter and the waxing crescent Moon at around 19:00 h (W). Saturn will not be observable until May 2023.
The constellation of Orion moves across the meridian (meridian transit; the meridian is an imaginary circle that passes through the celestial poles and an observer’s zenith) much earlier now (around 22:00 or earlier). In the East, the constellation of Leo – herald of Spring – is now already visible. For observation and astrophotography, the constellations of Cancer, Canis Minor, Monoceros and Gemini offer many fascinating celestial objects. In the early pre-dawn mornings, the constellations of Scorpius (SE) and Cygnus (NE) are visible again
Clear Skies and best wishes,
Moon phases February 2023
|Full Moon (Snow Moon)||05 Feb, 19:28|
|Third Quarter||13 Feb, 17:00|
|New Moon||20 Feb, 08:05|
|First Quarter||27 Feb, 09:05|
Meteor Showers February 2023
|α-Centaurid meteor shower|
28 Jan – 21 Feb 2023
|Peak on 8 February but mainly only visible from the southern hemisphere. The Alpha Centaurids are considered a minor meteor shower.|
Kosmos Himmels-Jahr 2023, Hans-Ulrich Keller, Franck-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart, 2022.
Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)
C/2022 E3 (ZTF) had its closest approach to Earth on 1 February 2023 but remains visible all night in early February. It has increased in magnitude. From a dark site, it should be observable with the naked eye. With binoculars, you should be able to see it also from more light polluted areas.
For more detailed information check https://in-the-sky.org
Mercury will not be visible in February.
Venus is still in the constellation of Capricornus and will appear in the constellation of Pisces starting 17 February. It now appears close to Jupiter low over the horizon (W). On 22 February, look for Venus, Jupiter and the waxing crescent Moon at around 19:00 h.
Mars still appears in the constellation of Taurus and is visible in the western part of the sky. It will set earlier as the month progresses and its magnitude continues to diminish.
Jupiter will appear in the constellation of Cetus starting 6 February and will set earlier as the month progresses – at 22:09 on 3 Feb, at 20:59 on 28 Feb.
Saturn will not be visible in February. It will make a comeback in May appearing in the constellation of Aquarius.
Uranus is still in the Constellation of Aries and can be observed in the evening.
Neptune will not be observable in February.
Phenomena not to miss in February
The transit of the constellation of Orion is now already around 22:00 h or earlier. At the same time in the eastern part of the night sky, the constellation of Leo with its brightest star Regulus can now be observed – a herald of Spring. For observation and astrophotography, the constellations of Cancer, Canis Minor and Monoceros offer many interesting celestial objects, from Nebulae (Rosette nebula aka Caldwell 49 in Monoceros) to Open star clusters such as Praesepe in Cancer (Messier 44). In the constellation of Gemini watch out for the Open star cluster Messier 35, and Double Star Castor (a Gem). In Canis Minor, Double Star Procyon (a CMi).
|03||19:47||Pollux 1.9°N of Waxing Gibbous Moon|
|06||early evening||Regulus S of Moon|
|11||05:23||Spica S of Moon|
|16||18:00||Saturn in Conjunction with Sun|
|22||at dusk||Waxing Crescent Moon, Venus and Jupiter appear close (W)|
|26||19:00||Waxing Crescent Moon 2.8° N of Uranus (SW)|
|26||evening||Waxing Crescent Moon near Pleiades|
|28||03:00||Mars 1.7°S of Moon|
- American Meteor Society, Meteor Shower Calendar 2023
- Kosmos Himmels-Jahr 2023, Hans-Ulrich Keller, Franck-Kosmos Verlags Gmbh & Co. KG, Stuttgart, 2022.
- “Sky Event Almanacs Courtesy of Fred Espenak
- The Sky Live
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