Night sky watchers will have plenty to see when they gaze upward this February, as the month brings multiple noteworthy February astronomy events, all centered around Earth's celestial next-door neighbor.
Moon Takes Center Stage
The moon takes center stage across three of the four weekends in February, putting on a show during its different phases. Stargazers willing to brave chillier nighttime temperatures will be treated to lunar visuals requiring only the naked eye.
Of course, those hoping to get an up-close look can turn to telescopes and binoculars to enhance the views and pick out intricate crater details.
Many amateur astronomy enthusiasts may find themselves dusting off new telescopes gifted over the holidays which have sat idle. The clear and predominantly dry February forecast across most of the country makes for prime sky-watching weather.
The second month of the year packs extra stargazing potential as a leap year, tacking on an extra day and night to enjoy spectacles overhead on February 29th. This presents opportune timing for breaking out telescopes before the spring constellations emerge.
While the moon governs the astronomical spotlight, canceled city lights also highlight planets and winter constellations like Orion the Hunter along with sparkling stars like Sirius. For those curious about what ethereal events are not to miss, the month has three remarkable night sky offerings in the upcoming weeks.
From one of the year's smallest full moons to tight clustering of solar system objects to unique lunar occultations, February skies have something for all levels of astronomy enthusiasts.
Mark the coming weekends on your calendar to witness these celestial performances as the moon shares the stage across three of the four Saturdays.