February 2024

Welcome to SkyEye, your guide to this month's celestial events!

All times and dates are in UT with the time given to the nearest 30 minutes.
Planetary positions are geocentric apparent places, referred to the true equator and equinox of date.

The phases of the in February 2024

Day Events
1 February opens with the waning gibbous Moon 1.7° away from the first-magnitude star α Vir (Spica) at 07:00.
5 Shortly after midnight, the waning crescent Moon occults the first-magnitude star α Sco (Antares).
7 At 19:00, the waning crescent Moon appears 5.4° south of Venus, the morning star.
8 Mars is found 4.2° away from the very slender crescent Moon at 06:30, and at 22:00, Mercury is 3.2° north of our satellite. Also taking place today is Uranus reaching east quadrature.
9 The NEW MOON provides perfect viewing conditions for the α Centaurid meteor shower which peaks today.
10 The very young Moon reaches perigee less than 24 hours after its New phase.
11 At 00:30, Saturn and the crescent Moon are just 1.8° apart.
12 The waxing crescent Moon passes 0.7° south of Neptune at 07:00, leading to a lunar occultation.
13 The Moon passes through its ascending node.
15 At 08:30, the Moon and Jupiter come to within 3.2° of one another.
16 The FIRST QUARTER MOON passes 3.2° north of Uranus at 02:00. Later, at 17:00, the Moon occults the open cluster M45 (Pleiades).
21 The waxing gibbous Moon is 1.6° south of the first-magnitude star β Gem (Pollux) at 01:00.
22 At 02:00, the Moon is found 3.4° away from M44 (Beehive). Five hours later, Venus and Mars have a close encounter, coming to within 0.6° of each other.
23 First-magnitude star α Leo (Regulus) is 3.6° south of the Moon at 23:00.
24 This FULL MOON has the smallest apparent diameter of all of the Full Moons this year.
25 The Moon reaches apogee.
27 The Moon passes through its descending node.
28 Both Mercury and Saturn are at (superior) conjunction today. At 13:30, the waning gibbous Moon is 1.5° away from α Vir (Spica).

The position of the Sun and planets at mid-February 2024

Sun CapricornusAquarius
Mercury SagittariusCapricornusAquarius This tiny planet is visible in the east before sunrise but is rapidly sinking toward the horizon. It is best viewed early in the month from southern latitudes. It continues to brighten throughout the month but disappears from sight well before superior conjunction on 28 February.
Venus SagittariusCapricornus Like Mercury, Venus is a morning sky object and is best seen from the southern hemisphere. It fades slightly from magnitude −4.0 to −3.9 over the course of the month but easily outshines Mercury. The morning star and the red planet are only 0.6° apart on 22 February but this pairing will be difficult to spot from northern latitudes.
Earth and Moon Like last month, the Moon occults the first-magnitude star Antares, the planet Neptune, and the open star cluster popularly known as the Pleiades. The New Moon of 9 February coincides with the peak of the α Centaurids, a minor meteor shower primarily visible from the southern hemisphere.
Mars SagittariusCapricornus Mars still inhabits the dawn sky, rising just ahead of the Sun, and remaining low to the eastern horizon for northern observers. Venus comes to call on 22 February; the two planets are only 0.6° apart but the morning star is far brighter than Mars's magnitude +1.3.
Jupiter Aries Jupiter is visible in the evening but sets before midnight. At magnitude −2.3, it is the brightest star-like object in the faint constellation of Aries.
Saturn Aquarius The ringed planet sets during twilight and is soon lost to view, with conjunction taking place on 28 February. Like Mercury which also undergoes superior conjunction on the same day, it will appear in the morning sky next month.
Uranus Aries Uranus reaches east quadrature this month. It sets around midnight for northern observers but vanishes in the west by mid-evening for those in the southern hemisphere.
Neptune Pisces A small telescope is necessary to view the most distant planet in the solar system, which is low in the west as night falls. Blue Neptune is occulted by the Moon on 12 February and passes just 0.1° north of an orange fifth-magnitude star, 20 Psc, on 22 February at around 10:00.