Read our February sky notes to find out what’s in the night sky this month!
These constellations are well placed in the evening this month, but many more can be seen. Check the star map for more.
Auriga appears close to the zenith at sunset and moves lower in the west during the course of the night. Its motion doesn’t change much during the month.
Leo can be seen in the eastern sky after sunset. It moves across the southern sky to set in the west around dawn. It appears lower as the month goes on, so best views in the evening sky will be at the beginning of the month when Leo is higher in the sky at sunset.
Draco is a circumpolar constellation so can be seen all night. It appears low in the north sky after sunset and moves in a circular motion towards the east to move higher and closer to the zenith. Best views will be just before dawn.
Mercury is too close to the Sun to be seen this month.
Venus is too close to the Sun to be seen this month.
Mars is too close to the Sun to be seen this month.
Jupiter can be seen in the south west in the early evening. It moves to set in the west around midnight. It starts higher in the sky at the beginning of the month so this will be when best views are. Jupiter is in conjunction with Moon on the 15th.
Saturn is too close to the Sun to be seen this month.
Uranus is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It sticks close to Jupiter this month, following the same path close behind it in the sky. After sunset it appears in the south west, before moving lower to set in the west around midnight.
Neptune is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It appears low on the south west horizon after sunset at the beginning of the month and sets soon after. It is in the sky until the middle of the month. Neptune will undergo lunar occultation on the 12th.
Last Quarter: 2nd
New Moon: 9th
First Quarter: 16th
Full Moon: 24th
The Moon is at perigee, its closest point to the Earth, on the 10th, and apogee, its furthest point from the Earth on the 25th. This effect is not visually apparent.
The Moon is at perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, on the 8th, and aphelion, its furthest point from the Sun on the 27th. This effect is not visually apparent.
The Moon will have a close approach with the Pleiades (M45) on the 16th. In the constellation of Taurus, the pair can be seen between 18:08 and 02:25 GMT. They will be too wide to fit in the field of view of a telescope, but they can be seen with the naked eye or binoculars.
Points of Interest
Bode’s Galaxy (Messier 81) is well placed on the 19th in the constellation of Ursa Major. It is near the celestial pole and so will be visible all night, reaching its highest point around midnight. Too faint for the naked eye, you will need a small telescope to see it.
Visit Spot the Station to find out when the ISS will be visible from your location.
Last updated: 28th January.