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    Articles > February 2011
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  Sky Calendar -- February 2011
1 Moon near Mercury (16° from Sun, morning sky) at 17h UT.
3 New Moon at 2:31 UT. Start of lunation 1090.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
4 Mars at conjunction with the Sun at 17h UT. The red planet passes into the morning sky.
6 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 23h UT (distance 405,924 km; angular size 29.7').
7 Moon near Jupiter at 4h UT. Mag. -2.1.
8 Alpha Centaurids meteor shower peaks at 11h UT. Favorable year for a sometimes major southern shower. About 6 meteors/hour but can peak at up to 25/hour. Produces bright, fast meteors. Active Jan 28 to Feb 21. Best observed in the pre-dawn hours.
The Alpha & Beta Centaurids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
11 First Quarter Moon at 7:18 UT.
11 Moon near the Pleiades at 23h UT (evening sky).
12 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 19h UT.
16 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 (evening sky) at 22h UT.
18 Moon near Regulus (midnight sky) at 8h UT.
18 Full Moon at 8:36 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
19 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 7h UT (358,247 km; 33.8').
21 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 12h UT. Mag. +0.5.
22 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 0h UT.
24 Last Quarter Moon at 23:26 UT.
25 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 5h UT.
25 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 9h UT. The planet passes into the evening sky.
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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