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  Sky Calendar -- February 2012
1 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 21h UT.
Pleiades (star cluster) (Wikipedia)
2 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 17h UT.
7 Moon near Beehive cluster (evening sky) at 1h UT.
7 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 9h UT. The planet passes into the evening sky.
7 Full Moon at 21:55 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
8 Alpha Centaurids meteor shower peaks. About 6 meteors/hour but can peak at up to 25/hour. Produces bright, fast meteors. Active Jan 28 to Feb 21. A sometimes major southern shower. Poor viewing conditions this year due to excessive moonlight.
The Alpha & Beta Centaurids (Gary Kronk)
8 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 19h UT.
10 Venus 0.3° NNW of Uranus (41° from Sun, evening sky) at 1h UT. Mags. -4.1 and +5.9.
11 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 19h UT (367,922 km; 32.5').
12 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 12h UT.
12 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 22h UT. Mag. +0.5.
14 Last Quarter Moon at 17:05 UT.
15 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 19h UT.
21 New Moon at 22:36 UT. Start of lunation 1103.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
25 Moon near Venus (44° from Sun, evening sky) at 21h UT. Mag. -4.2.
27 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 3h UT. Mag. -2.2.
27 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 14h UT (distance 404,863 km; angular size 29.5').
29 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 2h UT.
Pleiades (star cluster) (Wikipedia)
The Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Standard Time = UT - 5 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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