Stargazing for February 2021

The Full Moon and Halfway to Spring!

January 29, 2021
Moon and Girl

Are you a stargazer? Here are a couple fun sights and facts about February astronomy.

Halfway to the March Equinox!

In the early days of February, we will reach the halfway point between the December solstice (December 21, 2020) and the March equinox (March 20, 2021). On the March equinox, which marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere of the planet, the Sun stands directly over Earth’s equator. 

Long ago, this halfway point was marked by a Celtic holiday called Imbolc, which means “in the belly” in Old Irish. This day celebrated the fact that spring was almost here, which meant that warmer weather, spring flowers, and baby animals would also soon arrive!

Today, we celebrate a similar holiday at this time (February 2): Groundhog Day. On Groundhog Day, the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil carefully creeps out from his burrow to predict whether we will have an early spring. According to the legend, if Phil emerges from his burrow and gets spooked by his shadow, then we will have six more weeks of wintry weather. However, if he doesn’t see his shadow, then early spring weather is on its way!

Watch for the Full Snow Moon

In February 2021, the full Moon arrives in the early morning hours of Saturday, February 27. For the best view of this full Moon, which is traditionally called the full Snow Moon, look for it on the night of Friday, February 26. Read more about the Full Snow Moon!