Here Are The Top Astronomy Events For February 2019.

Most parts of the northern hemisphere are under a biting cold and it will take a lot of courage to watch the night sky. Still, let us have a look at the events that will take place in February.

Note: The visibility of a conjunction at the exact time given here depends on your location and placement of planets with respect to the horizon. However, it doesn't make much difference in case of planets if you watch the event on the same day.

February 2: Conjunction of Moon & Saturn

Our natural satellite will make a close approach to the Lord of the Rings at 07:07 GMT (12:37 IST) on the second day of the month. The duo will pass within 0°37' of each other. Moon will be 27 days old. This event will be difficult to watch from India and America (and other countries that share similar latitudes) as the pair will be no more than 15 degrees above the horizon. No conjunction will be seen from Europe and most of Canada. People living in Southern hemisphere have a good chance to witness this event according to the daylight. Australia and New Zealand are good places for this event. The Moon will be at mag -9.5, and Saturn at mag 0.5, both in the constellation Sagittarius.

The conjunction of Moon and Saturn at 07:07 GMT as seen from Melbourne. (Image: Dominic Ford, In-The-Sky)

February 10: Close Approach of Moon And Mars

After a date with Saturn, Moon will pass 6°04' to the south of Mars. The Moon will be 6 days old. The exact time of this conjunction is 16:20 UTC (21:50 IST). India and neighboring countries will be good places for this event. From New Delhi, the pair will become visible at around 18:22 (IST) as the dusk sky fades, 60° above your south-western horizon. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting 5 hours and 1 minute after the Sun at 23:07. From New York (America), the pair will become visible at around 17:40 (EST) as the dusk sky fades, 54° above your south-western horizon.
This event will also be visible from Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand  according to the daylight. The conjunction will take place in the constellation of Pisces.

The sky at the time of exact conjunction from the Indian Capital. (Image: Dominic Ford, In-The-Sky)

February 13: Conjunction of Mars And Uranus

The two planets will date each other a day before the Valentine's day. On January 13, at 20:07 UTC (1:37 IST), Mars will pass 1°03' to the north of Uranus. The conjunction will take place in the constellation of Aries. Uranus will be at mag 5.8 (almost invisible with the naked eye) and Mars will shine bright at mag 1. Although the pair will be too widely separated to fit in a telescope, one can try locating Uranus as it will be easily visible even in a small scope.

At the time of conjunction, the duo will be below the horizon. However, it will hardly make any difference. This is the view of the event from New Delhi, a few hours the conjunction. (Image: Dominic Ford, In-The-Sky)

February 23: Conjunction of Venus And Pluto

Venus and Pluto will share the same right ascension, with Venus passing 1°24' to the north of Pluto. Venus will be at mag -4.1, and Pluto at mag 14.7, both in the constellation Sagittarius. From India, the duo will be visible in the morning. It will be very difficult to spot Pluto in a telescope, given its faintness.

February 28: Mercury Reaches Highest Point In Sky

The smallest planet of the solar system will reach its highest point in the sky on February 28, in the constellation of Pisces. From India, it will be a tricky observation as the planet will be only 18 degrees above the horizon during sunset. The table below shows the altitude of Mercury at sunset on February 28. The greater the altitude, easier it will become to spot this tiny planet.

New Delhi (India)18 Degrees
New York (USA)17 Degrees
Toronto (Canada)17 Degrees
London (UK)16 Degrees
Moscow (Russia)15 Degrees
Melbourne (Australia)7 Degrees
Christchurch (NZL)5 Degrees

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