scorecardSkywatching tips for February — Last month to see Jupiter, Venus at its brightest
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Skywatching tips for February — Last month to see Jupiter, Venus at its brightest

Skywatching tips for February — Last month to see Jupiter, Venus at its brightest
LifeScience2 min read
  • Skywatching tips for February include spotting Jupiter for the last time, Venus at its brightest and more.
  • This is also the last month to spot naked-eye planets in the night sky.
  • February is also the best month to spot the Great Nebula in Orion.
2022 kicked off with the new moon and dark skies filled with stars, meteor showers and more. A new month has started with a lot more to look forward to for all skygazers. NASA has released skywatching tips for the month of February and it includes some big ones to look out for, and also last chances to witness some.

February is going to be the last month to spot Jupiter in the sky and it’s also the only bright planet left in our twilight skies. Jupiter can be spotted in the western sky after sunset in February. By mid-month, Jupiter will set only about an hour after the sun, NASA said in a blog post. And by the end of the month, it would have departed. Jupiter will then become a morning planet in April.

The next few months will be dry for naked-eye planets and we’ll have to wait until August to see one. This is when we’ll get to see Saturn which will start rising in the east around sunset. But there is a chance to see Mercury in April and May when it pops briefly above the horizon.

February is also special for Venus fans as the planet will be at its brightest for the year around mid-month. Venus rises early around 4 am and it is visible low in the southeast until sunrise. For those unaware, Venus is the brightest planet in our solar system.

You can also spot a special trio of Venus along with the moon and Mars on the morning of February 26.

This month is also the best time to observe the Great Nebula in Orion which is the nearest large-star forming region to our solar system. The constellation Orion will be bright and visible in the south around 8 or 9 pm. To spot it you should keep an eye out for “the three stars of the hunter's belt, and then find the stars that hang below it forming Orion's sword.” Here, you will find fuzzy stars in the centre of the line which is the nebula. You can easily see this with binoculars but a telescope will give an even better view.

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