February 21, 2011 – Night sky events for the week of February 14 2011 –
Hello Sky Watchers!
The Moon this week
The Moon will be in its Last Quarter phase on February 24 and waning down to the New Moon next week, which of course means the sky will gradually get darker for better skygazing.
Planet lineup for the week
See Venus in the eastern sky before dawn as it continues to shine brightly until the Sun comes up. On February 27, you can see it just to the lower left of the crescent Moon.
New image of the Orion Nebula reveals new features
Jupiter appears in the west as the sun goes down and still looks very bright. However, the gas giant is now setting about an hour after it gets dark.
Saturn is rising at around 9:00 pm in the east and becomes a good telescope subject at about 2:00 or 3:00 am when it is highest in the southeastern sky. The planet’s new white spot has now spread around it into a double streak which can be spotted with a telescope.
NASA’s Kepler mission finds extraordinary six-planet system
Stars and constellations to see this week
Catch the Big Dipper as it hangs low in the northeast during the early evening as it stands on its handle, and then as it appears up high in the northwest at dawn.
Looking to the left of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky appearing high in the south after dark, you can find two star clusters. M46 and M47 are visible in dark skies and look like a hazy light patch.
The Sagittarius constellation is now rising about an hour before sunrise and lies just to the right of Venus. It is also known as the Teapot, as that’s quite what is looks like.
Night sky events for the week of February 14 2011
Look up and smile!
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