February 2019

Sky Report - February 2019

By Dr. Bob Doyle, Emeritus Faculty
Dr. Doyle taught and was Planetarium Director at Frostburg State University for over 40 years

First Quarter of February

Sunrise 7:20 a.m., Sunset 5:37 p.m., Daily sunlight 10 hr.17 min., Sun in Capricornus through mid month, New Moon on February 4, Crescent moon low in Western dusk on February 6,7 Planet at dusk in SW: Mars As February opens, there is a lovely arch of planets and the crescent moon low in the southeastern dawn. At 6:20 a.m., you can see (from left to right): the planet Saturn, the crescent moon, the brilliant planet Venus, the bright planet Jupiter and the bright pinkish star Antares (of the Scorpion). Prominent evening stars and star groups (7 p.m.): Orion (belt points up & right to Taurus), Orion (belt points down and left to Sirius and Big Dog), Orion (two brightest stars point upward to Gemini), Big Dipper’s bowl (4 stars) low in the North Northeast sky with top two stars pointing left to North Star, Bright star Vega low in the Northwest in early evening, Bright golden star Capella nearly overhead Prominent dawn stars and star groups (6 a.m.): Summer Triangle (Vega, Deneb and Altair) in Northeast, Big Dipper upside down and high in the North, Cassiopeia of 5 stars low in the North resembles letter ‘W’, by extending Big Dipper’s handle you come to the bright golden star Arcturus, nearly overhead, bright pinkish star Antares (of Scorpion) in South to the right of bright Jupiter and brilliant Venus, Leo’s sickle is in the West

Second Quarter of February

Sunrise 7:13 a.m., Sunset 5:45 p.m., Daily sunlight 10 hr. 32 min., Sun in Capricornus through February 15, Half full evening moon on February 12, Moon above bright star Aldebaran on February 13, late in evening, Planets at dawn in SE: Saturn, brilliant Venus & Jupiter: Planet at dusk in SW: Mars Prominent evening stars and star groups (7 p.m.): Orion (belt points up & right to Taurus), Orion (belt points down and left to Sirius and Big Dog), Orion (two brightest stars point upward to Gemini), Big Dipper’s bowl (4 stars) low in the North Northeast sky with top two stars pointing left to North Star, Bright star Vega low in the Northwest in early evening, Bright golden star Capella nearly overhead Prominent dawn stars and star groups (6 a.m.) Summer Triangle (Vega, Deneb and Altair) in Northeast, Big Dipper upside down and high in the North, Cassiopeia of 5 stars low in the North resembles letter ‘W’, by extending Big Dipper’s handle you come to the bright golden star Arcturus, nearly overhead, bright pinkish star Antares (of Scorpion) in South to the right of bright Jupiter and brilliant Venus, Leo’s sickle is in the West

Third Quarter of February

Sunrise 7:04 a.m., Sunset 5:54 p.m. Daily sunlight 10 hr .49 min., Sun in Aquarius Full moon on February 19 (brightest full moon of 2019), Planets at dawn in SE: Saturn, brilliant Venus & Jupiter: Venus and Saturn are only a degree apart (2 moon widths) on February 18 Planet at dusk in SW: Mars Prominent evening stars and star groups (7:30 p.m.) Orion (belt points up & right to Taurus), Orion (belt points down and left to Sirius and Big Dog), Orion (two brightest stars point upward to Gemini), Big Dipper’s bowl (4 stars) low in the North Northeast sky with top two stars pointing left to North Star, Bright star Vega low in the Northwest in early evening, Bright golden star Capella nearly overhead Prominent dawn stars and star groups (6 a.m.) Summer Triangle (Vega, Deneb and Altair) in Northeast, Big Dipper upside down and high in the North, Cassiopeia of 5 stars low in the North resembles letter ‘W’, by extending Big Dipper’s handle you come to the bright golden star Arcturus, nearly overhead, bright pinkish star Antares (of Scorpion) in South to the right of bright Jupiter and brilliant Venus, Leo’s sickle is in the West

Last Quarter of February

Sunrise 6:55 a.m., Sunset 6:01 p.m. Daily sunlight 11 hr. 7 min., Sun in Aquarius Half full morning moon (like a reversed ‘D’ in Southern dawn) on February 26) Planets at dawn in SE: Saturn, brilliant Venus & Jupiter: Planet at dusk in SW: Mars On February 28, the planets and moon have exchanged places relative to 2/1 dawn. At 6 a.m., the arch (from left to right) consists of: brilliant Venus, the planet Saturn, the crescent moon, the bright planet Jupiter and the pinkish star Antares. Prominent evening stars and star groups(7:30 p.m.): Orion (belt points up & right to Taurus), Orion (belt points down and left to Sirius and Big Dog), Orion (two brightest stars point upward to Gemini),Big Dipper’s bowl (4 stars) low in the North Northeast sky with top two stars pointing left to North Star, Bright star Vega low in the Northwest in early evening, Bright golden star Capella nearly overhead Prominent dawn stars and star groups (5:30 a.m.): Summer Triangle (Vega, Deneb and Altair) in Northeast, Big Dipper upside down and high in the North, Cassiopeia of 5 stars low in the North resembles letter ‘W’, by extending Big Dipper’s handle you come to the bright golden star Arcturus, nearly overhead, bright pinkish star Antares (of Scorpion) in South to the right of bright Jupiter and brilliant Venus, Leo’s sickle is in the West

For a free copy of my 2019 Night Sky Highlights, send an email to rdoyle@frostburg.edu. This lists sunrise and sunset times for every Sunday, the moon-planet line ups and the moon’s main phases for 2019, all on 2 pages.

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