February is a great month to stargaze, except you aren’t going to be looking for stars but planets instead. Two planets are visible right after sunset, and three planets are visible before sunrise. If the clouds are limited, it is worth trying to find them all.
First, about an hour before sunrise, look to the southeast sky. In a diagonal line, you’ll see Mars on the top followed by Jupiter and then Saturn. Through the month of February, between 6:30 and 7 a.m., look to the south/southeast. The three planets line up and should be easy to see. On February 17, the moon will still be out so find it first and it will guide your eyes to the planets.
Next, after work, look for the two visible planets in the evening. Mercury and Venus are the planets to look for at night. Between 6:30 and 7 p.m., it is getting dark and these two planets will shine in the western sky. You’ll see Venus shining very brightly and then Mercury below it. Mercury sets quickly after the sun so by the end of the month, you won’t be able to see it. Venus, on the other hand, gets closer to the moon by the end of February, making it very easy to find.
When looking for planets, remember that they don’t twinkle like stars, but will shine bright and steady.
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