January 31, 2016
Taken at TompkinsBarbara Skinner
Welcome to the February 2016 Sky Watch, courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Here are the month’s night sky highlights, including conjunctions, meteor showers, and planets.
Sky Watch February 2016
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2016 Old Farmer’s Almanac
(Note: Times listed below are ET.)
What’s up in February? Here are the highlights:
Not a single naked-eye planet appears in the evening sky in the beginning of the month. Night’s opening hours are dominated by Orion and the Dog Star, Sirius.
- On the 6th at dawn, 40 minutes before sunrise, the waning crescent Moon meets Mercury and Venus low in the southeast in Sagittarius.
- By mid-month, brilliant creamy Jupiter, retrograding into Leo, starts rising at 8:30 P.M. and is nicely up by 10, ruling the rest of the night as the brightest “star” in the sky.
- The Moon passes very closely below Jupiter on the 23rd. Mars, brightening noticeably in Libra, rises by 2 A.M. and is halfway up the southern sky at dawn.
- On Leap Day (29th), it dangles below the Moon.
For a full year of Sky Watch—plus astronomical information—pick up a copy of The 2016 Old Farmer’s Almanac—just released!
Sky Map February 2016
We offer printable sky maps, too, to help you know what you’re seeing when you look up!
The 2016 Old Farmer's Almanac