Every night is an invitation to create the habit of observing the sky and marveling at the astronomical events that beautify the celestial darkness. Recognize constellations and their main stars, identify the planets and noticing the change in brightness of the lunar surface over the days is a habit that can be done throughout the year and February will be no different!
The astronomical highlights of the most carnival month of the year feature beautiful celestial encounters between the Moon and Venus and the Moon and Jupiter, on February 7th and 15th, respectively.
This phenomenon is called a conjunction and occurs whenever two or more astronomical objects (two planets, a planet and the Moon, the Sun and a planet, among others) appear to be close to each other in the sky. In more technical language, this means that they have right ascension and/or ecliptic longitude equal to, or close to, the celestial coordinates that determine the positions of celestial bodies.
Conjunction between Moon and JupiterSource: Jordi L. Coy
It is important to note that conjunctions are apparent phenomena caused by the observer's perspective: the two objects involved are not actually close to each other in space, but rather separated by millions of kilometers away.
This is exactly what will happen on the night of February 7th, when the waning Moon and Venus will approach each other in the sky towards the constellation of Sagittarius, and on February 15th, where the Moon, this time waxing, will meet Jupiter in the Aries constellation.
In addition to these, another beautiful conjunction will beautify the skies in February: on the night of the 22nd, Mars and Venus will be close to each other in the constellation of Capricorn. These events can be easily seen with the naked eye or with the help of binoculars and telescopes.
The use of applications such as Carta Celeste, Stellarium and SkyMap are excellent allies for observing and identifying objects in the sky!
Calendar of the main astronomical events for the month of February 2024
02/02: Moon in First Quarter
07/02: Conjunction between Moon and Venus
09/02: New Moon
02/15: Conjunction between Moon and Jupiter
02/16: Moon in First Quarter
02/22: Conjunction between Mars and Venus
02/24: Full moon
Clear skies and good observations!
Always stay up to date with upcoming celestial events here at TecMundo and take the opportunity to share the February calendar with your friends who also like astronomy!