Tuesday, February 01, 2022
Southern Skywatch February 2022 edition is now out!
February 1; New Moon. Feb 1-Feb 28; Mars, Venus and Mercury form a triangle in the morning twilight. February 3; the thin crescent moon near Jupiter, low in the evening twilight. February 11; apogee Moon. February 6; Mars very close to globular cluster M22 in the morning. February 8; First Quarter Moon. February 17; Full Moon. February 24; Last Quarter Moon. February 27; perigee Moon. February 27; Planetary massing of Venus, Mars and crescent moon with Mercury and Saturn below in the morning twilight. February 27; Planetary massing of Venus, Mars and crescent moon (this time the Moon is between Mars and Mercury) with Mercury and Saturn below.
Mercury is in the morning sky, and is readily visible in the eastern morning twilight from about the second week on, about an hour before sunrise. This is the best time this year to see Mercury in the morning sky. Mercury is below the pair of Venus and Mars, forming a nice triangle for most of the month. Mercury is at its furthest from the Sun on the 17th, and then sinks towards the horizon, later in the month in on the rising Saturn and by the end of the Month it is a hand-span above Saturn. On the 27th and then the 28th the sight of the pair of Venus and Mars, the thin crescent Moon, Mercury, and Saturn in the eastern sky an hour before sunrise will be impressive.
Venus starts the month in the eastern morning twilight and is readily visible an hour before sunrise below Mars. Venus and Mars form a pair which slowly come closer over the Month. Mars slowly brightens but is outshone by brilliant Venus.
Venus is a thin crescent in telescopes at the beginning of the month and will wax as the month progresses. Venus will be at its greatest brilliance on the 13th, when its appearance is like that of the first quarter moon.
Mars starts February in the lid of the “teapot of Sagittarius”, Mars makes an attractive triangle with Venus and Mercury for most of the month, and is readily visible an hour before sunrise, above bright Venus.
On the 2nd Mars is close to the globular cluster M28 (1 degree) and on the 6th close (0.3 deg) to the globular cluster M22. And don’t forget, on the 27th and then the 28th the sight of the pair of Venus and Mars, the thin crescent Moon, Mercury, and Saturn in the eastern sky an hour before sunrise will be impressive.
Jupiter is low in the twilight and is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 3rd. after this it is rpidly lost in the twilight.
Saturn returns to the morning sky late in February, rising to meet Mercury.
Moon: Perigee February 27 and at apogee February 11.
Labels: southern skywatch