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February 2018 Observing Plan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:05 pm
by rene-gedaly
The weather's been so bad I was almost caught off guard when the skies cleared last night, Feb 15. A few fast moving low clouds made for a fun Messier hunt using binoculars. Thought I could do it strictly RA order but lapsed into constellation by constellation. Still, didn't miss any. A caveat: with 10x50 mm handhelds in the suburbs, I did count negative observations ;) Some day I'm going to AZ and do the M-cubed: Messier Marathon by Memory. Wouldn't that be a neat field trip?

Algol minima dates: Feb 16 F, 19 M, 22 Th, 25 Su, 28 W. Good, easy variable star to watch brighten and dim, even during partially cloudy nights.

Jupiter before dawn all month: It crosses the meridian around 6 a.m. Feb 17 and an hour earlier by early March.

Mars follows behind making a nice pair with Antares in Scorpius, 6 am Feb 17 and days following.

Saturn is atop the teapot lid of Sagittarius. Also before dawn.

If you're an early bird or have to be one for work, look south near the meridian for Spica, Jupiter, Antares, Mars, and Saturn, from southwest to east.