Bright Planets for February 2019
Jupiter and its satellites emerging from behind the crescent Moon’s horizon.Apod.nasa.gov
Sky Watch February 2019
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac
In February, the two bright planets up before the Sun are Venus (brighter) and Jupiter. Saturn is there, too.
The heavens offer a new alignment before dawn on the 1st: Low in the east, from highest to lowest, stand Jupiter, Venus, the Moon, and Saturn. On the 2nd, the order is Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, and the Moon. On the 18th and 19th, quite low at first light, Venus meets Saturn.
- From February 25 to 27, look towards the waning Moon an hour before sunrise. On the morning of the 27th, the crescent Moon pairs up with brilliant Jupiter shining right below the tip of the crescent for a lovely sight. Over the next couple mornings, the Moon slides farther east, passing Saturn, and then Venus, as it gets closer to the horizon and sunrise.
Mars is the only bright planet to shine in the night sky all month long as a brilliant 1st-magnitude star.
Just as darkness falls, bright orange Mars stands halfway up the southwestern sky. To Mars’ left, also in Pisces, Uranus dimly shines at magnitude 5.8, just visible to the naked eye in unpolluted skies early and again late in the month. It is easily identified as the only green “star” by those who sweep binoculars leftward from Mars.
See our February Sky Map for a free, printable star chart to navigate the night sky!