Stargazers are in for a treat this month.
From rare glimpses of the planets in our solar system to stars shining as bright as diamonds, North Wales is one of the best places to see what the universe has to offer.
So if you’re hoping to see a full moon or perhaps want to see the lunar straight wall, look no further as we’ve got all the details to ensure you don’t miss out.
Get out your telescope, wrap up warm and look to the stars, this is what February has in store for you, according to Space.com.
February 10 — Old moon visits predawn planets
When the moon reaches its third-quarter and will remain visible in the southern sky all morning.
Third-quarter moons are positioned ahead of the Earth in our trip around the sun. About 3½ hours later, Earth will occupy that same location in space. The week of dark, moonless evening skies that follow this phase will be ideal for observing deep-sky targets.
February 11 — Bright Venus passes Jupiter (before sunrise)
Venus will approach Jupiter shortly before sunrise on February 11.
Look just above the east-southeastern horizon before sunrise for the bright planet positioned just to the lower right of Jupiter.
Both planets will fit together in the field of view of binoculars or even a backyard telescope.
February 11 — New moon (at 19:05 GMT)
At 7.05pm on Thursday, February 11, the moon will officially reach its new moon phase.
Since sunlight can only reach the far side of the moon, and the moon is in the same region of the sky as the sun, the moon becomes completely hidden from view for about a day.
After the new moon, Earth’s celestial night-light will return to shine in the western evening sky.
February 12 — Algol dims in brightness
Algol is among the most accessible stars for skywatchers.
For ten hours once every 2 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes, Algol’s visual brightness dims and re-brightens noticeably.
On Friday, February 12 at 7:25 p.m. EST, Algol will be at minimum brightness while sitting high in the western sky. Five hours later Algol will return to its usual magnitude and will be positioned 22 degrees above the western horizon.
February 13 — Appreciate the Pleiades (all night)
At about 7:15 p.m.the Pleiades open star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, is positioned high in the southern sky.
The cluster is composed of medium-bright, hot blue stars named Asterope, Merope, Electra, Maia, Taygeta, Celaeno, and Alcyone.
February 14 — Sirius sparkles like a diamond
In mid-February, the night sky’s brightest star, Sirius reaches its highest point over the horizon at around 9.30pm.
Sirius is a hot, white, A-class star located only 8.6 light-years from Earth — part of the reason for its brilliance and strong twinkling and flashes of colour the Dog Star is known for.
February 17 — Crescent moon helps locate Uranus
In the western sky on Wednesday, February 17, the 33%-illuminated crescent moon will shine onto the upper left of Uranus.
Note Uranus’ position about midway between the medium-bright stars Menkar (Alpha Ceti) and Sheratan (Beta Arietis) and the blue-green planet will be visible with binoculars, or even your unaided eyes, on a subsequent moonless night.
February 18 — Moon meets Mars
The waxing moon will be positioned just off of Mars.
The moon and the planet will appear together in the field of view of binoculars.
February 20 — The lunar straight wall
On February 20, the pole-to-pole boundary that divides the lit and dark hemispheres of the waxing gibbous moon will fall just to the left of the Lunar Straight Wall.
It will be visible from binoculars and backyard telescopes. The Straight Wall is always prominent a day or two after the first quarter, and again just before the third quarter.
February 21 — Moon in the Winter Hexagon
The Winter Hexagon, also known as the Winter Football and Winter Circle, is made up of the brightest stars in the constellations of Canis Major, Orion, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, and Canis Minor, Rigel, Aldebaran, Capella, Castor and Pollux, and Procyon.
The hexagon is visible during evenings from mid-November to spring every year. The waxing gibbous moon will travel through the asterism from February 20 – 22.
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February 23 — Mercury swings toward Saturn
On the morning of February 23, the orbital motion of Mercury will near Saturn.
At closest approach on Tuesday, Mercury will sit 4 degrees left of slightly dimmer Saturn.
Use binoculars to look for the two planets sitting just above the southeastern horizon after they rise at about 6 a.m. local time. Brighter Jupiter will rise about 20 minutes after them.
February 24 — Moon buzzes the Beehive
On February 24, the nearly full moon will be positioned near the upper left of the large open star cluster known as The Beehive.
To see more stars, try placing the moon just outside your optics’ field of view. During the night, the diurnal rotation of the sky will shift the moon above the Beehive.
February 27 — Full Snow Moon
The February full moon is known as the Snow Moon or Hunger Moon.
Since it’s opposite the sun on this day of the lunar month, the moon is fully illuminated and rises at sunset and sets at sunrise.
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