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  • Chris Baker

What's up? - FEBRUARY 2024

Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment.


Jupiter remains the star of the show this month. But the Pleiades star cluster passes close to the Moon mid month which will look beautiful.

PLANETS


Mercury

Not visible this month


Venus

This will be your last chance to see Venus in the morning and it is best to view as early in the month as possible.

It shines brightly very low down in the south east. It is so bright you cannot miss it- given you have a low horizon to view of course!



Venus on the morning of Sunday 4th February

Courtesy of Stellarium


Mars

It just may be possible at a stretch to see Mars this month. It will appear very close (about one degree!) to Venus just before sunrise on the 22nd Feb - good luck with that!


Mars and Venus around 06:30 on the morning of the 22nd low down in the south east

Courtesy of Stellarium


Jupiter

Jupiter is the only planet this month visible with the naked eye in the evening. It remains bright all month - simply look South West shortly after dark and you cannot miss it!

Jupiter around 7pm - looking south west


Courtesy of Stellarium



Saturn

Not viewable this month



Pleiades and the Moon

This month the beautiful star cluster Pleiades -also known as the Seven Sisters -will appear close to the Moon.

You can see the Moon and Pleiades less than a degree apart during the evenings of 16th and 17th Feb.


It's a first quarter Moon too so the brightness will not obscure the star cluster. It will also be worth using a pair of binoculars.


The Moon and Pleiades early evening on the 16th Feb - south west

Courtesy of Stellarium



The Moon and Pleiades early evening on the 16th Feb - south west

Courtesy of Stellarium


Note you will also be able to see the constellation of Orion and the planet Jupiter in the same view - stunning!


Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations.


Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

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