February is a fantastic time to see planets, with all five of the brighter “wanderers” visible by the end of the month. Mercury and Mars will be up in the early evening while Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus will show their faces in the pre-dawn morning. The month also features the second of three so-called supermoons of 2019 and one of the sky’s most distinct constellations. One thing that will be missing is a meteor shower; while the Quadrantids peaked in January, the next major meteor shower, the Lyrids, doesn’t arrive until April. Let’s look at some highlights for the month:
The Sun and Moon
The days will be getting longer, as they say, during February. Of course, this refers to the increasing amount of daylight, not to any lengthening of the day past its normal period of 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.1 seconds. On February 1 the Sun rises at 7:25 a.m. and sets at 5:54 p.m.; by the end of the month, the Sun will be up at 6:56 a.m. and down at 6:21 p.m.
As for the Moon, the phases fall on the following dates:
New Moon – February 2
First Quarter – February 12
Full Moon ...