Last Week's Stargazing Tips

February 25: Moon and Aldebaran

Aldebaran, the bright orange eye of the celestial bull, is quite close to the lower right of the Moon this evening. It shines brightly even through the lunar glare. It is the 14th-brightest star system in the night sky, so it’s easy to spot.

February 24: Lepus

Orion’s hunting dogs chase a rabbit across the south tonight. The constellation Lepus stands below Orion’s feet and to the right of Canis Major, the big dog. Look for the dog’s brightest star, Sirius, which is the brightest star in the night sky.

February 23: Warming Rays

As winter enters its final month in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting longer and the Sun is climbing higher in the sky. A little more of the Sun’s energy is reaching our part of the globe, so for many of us the days are getting warmer.

February 22: Canopus

Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, arcs across the south this evening. If you live in the far southern U.S., the second-brightest star peeks into view as well. Canopus is due south around 9 p.m., just a few degrees above the horizon.

February 21: Moon and Uranus

The planet Uranus stands quite close to the lower right of the Moon this evening. The planet is too faint to see with the alone, but should be easy to spot with binoculars. It looks like a tiny star, with perhaps a hint of blue-green.

February 20: Triple Play II

The Moon and the planets Venus and Mars stage a spectacular encounter early this evening. Venus is the brilliant “evening star” to the left of the Moon, with much fainter Mars just a fraction of a degree from Venus.

February 19: Triple Play

The crescent Moon is quite low in the sky as night begins to fall. Venus, the brilliant “evening star,” stands to its upper left, with much fainter Mars directly above Venus. The three will be much closer together tomorrow night.

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