By Heather Durham | January 31, 2020
Hi everybody and welcome to the February 2020 issue of Celestial Seasonings!
This month brings with it another visit from our Beehive Cluster, M44, as well as an increasing amount of daylight. Additionally, we are having an extra day this month for 2020 is a leap year. Now let’s see what the skies will provide for our viewing pleasure.
February 1: The first quarter of the Moon will appear.
February 8: The Open Beehive Cluster commonly referred to as M44 will closely approach the Moon. M44 is from the Constellation Cancer. The Moon will be 15 days old on this date. The a-Centaurid meteor shower coming from the Centaurus Constellation will occur. As part of the Milky Way, the globe-shaped cluster, NGC2808 from the Constellation Carina will be displayed (Wikipedia, 2019).
February 9: The Moon will be full.
February 10: Mercury will be far away from the Sun. This is also referred to as Mercury being at it’s greatest elongation East (in-the-sky.org,2019). The Moon will be at it’s farthest point from the Sun and the Moon will travel by it’s closest point to Earth.
February 12: Mercury has an 88-day orbit around the Sun and will be at it’s closest position near the Sun. As well, Mercury will be at it’s highest point in the sky.
February 15: This date will bring the last quarter of the Moon.
February 18: The open cluster from the Constellation Sagittarius, NGC6530, will closely approach Mars. The Moon and Mars will rise closely together in the same direction.
February 19: The Moon and Jupiter will rise up in the same direction. The Moon and Jupiter will rise closely to one another. Bode’s Galaxy or NGC3031 from Ursa Major will be great for observation.
February 20: The Moon and Saturn will rise in the same direction with the two of them passing close to each other.
February 21: The Moon will orbit towards it’s closest place to the Sun. NGC3114 also known as a sparse open star cluster from the Constellation Carina should be visible with binoculars.
February 23: This date will bring us a new moon.
February 25: Mercury will pass closely by the Sun.
February 26: The Moon will appear somewhat smaller as it orbits towards it’s farthest point from Earth.
February 27: The Moon and Venus will rise in the same direction.
February 28: M22, also known as NGC6656, an elliptical globe-shaped cluster from the Constellation Sagittarius and Mars will be making a close approach of one another (Wikipedia, 2019).
February 29: This year is a leap year, so there is a February 29. In Irish and English tradition, women were allowed on this day to initiate dances and propose marriage. If refused, the bachelor had to pay a forfeit.
Previous in sequence: Celestial Seasonings – January 2020; next in sequence: Celestial Seasonings – March 2020
in-the-sky.org. (2020). Mercury. Retrieved from https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20200210_11_101
Wikipedia. (2019, December 9). Bachelor’s Day (Tradition). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor%27s_Day_(tradition)
Wikipedia. (2019, December). Beehive Cluster. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive_Cluster
Wikipedia. (2019, October). Messier 22. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_22