February's celestial lineup: From Snow Moon to meteor shower, here's list of astronomical events to watch out

A number of celestial events are lined up for the shortest month of the year, February. Sky gazers can anticipate a month full of spectacular splendour with meteor shower to snow moon.

Here are some of the celestial events to look forward to in the month of February:

α-Centaurid meteor shower on February 8

The α-Centaurid meteor shower also known as Alpha Centaurids Meteor Shower is ongoing, it began on January 28. This meteor shower, active until February 21 will see peak activity around February 8. 

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This celestial event named after Alpha Centauri, the fourth brightest star in the sky, can be witnessed from the Southern Hemisphere. The meteor shower will be visible from Delhi from around 3:20 am while the peak activity is expected to be around 1:00 am on February 9.

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New moon on February 9

On February 9, the Moon will enter its “new” phase. This celestial event will not visible in the night sky as the side facing the Earth will not be illuminated by the Sun. This implies that the Moon will not be visible to the naked eye. However, the new moon phase is the best time to look for other celestial objects in the night sky like the Milky Way and constellations because the light from those distant objects can reach the earth.

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The Moon revolves around the Earth once every four weeks. Hence, four phases of the moon take place during this period that include the new moon, the first quarter, the full moon and the last quarter. This monotonous cycle repeats once every 29.5 days on average. During this motion the moon moves around 12-degrees in the sky from one night to another. This makes it rise and set almost an hour later each day.

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Close approach of Moon and Jupiter on February 15

Jupiter and Moon will appear to pass each other at around 11:35 pm on February 25. From the earth this crossing would appear within 3 degrees of the two celestial bodies. This celestial event will be visible to the naked eye and can be clearly watched through a pair of binoculars. 

The pair will be visible at 6:24 pm (IST) from Delhi above south-western horizon, and will fade into the horizon by 11:39 pm. The two celestial bodies will be above south-western horizon part of the sky while watching from Delhi, according to In the Sky. 

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Close approach of Venus and Mars on February 22

Venus and Mars, named after the Roman goddess of love and the god of war respectively, will make a close approach at 3.16 pm on February 22, according to In the Sky report. This celestial event will be visible to the naked eye and can be clearly watched through a pair of binoculars. However, this celestial event will not be visible from India.

Snow moon on February 24

The full moon in February is called the Snow Moon. It is named after abundant snowfall that takes place in the Northern Hemisphere, according to Time and Date. This month’s full moon will be at its full splendour at 6:00 am on February 24.

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 01:44 PM IST

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