February Astronomical Events

Hello everybody,

Here are the astronomical events occurring in the month of February: (All times are given in UTC format.)

  • This February there will be no new moon. Here is the reason why:
    • The new moon was on January 30, 2014 at 21:38 UTC.
    • The moon drifts along the Celestial Sphere (CS) at a rate of 52 min/day, which results in a sidereal month (The time it takes the Moon orbit the Earth) of 27.3 days.
    • The sun drifts along the CS at 4 min/day.
    • When comparing the Moon’s drift with respect to the sun’s drift, the Moon drifts at a rate of 48 min/day. As a result, it has a synodic month (The time it takes to repeat the same phase) of 29.5 days.
    • This means that the next full moon will take place 29.5 days after January 30, which lands on March 1, 2014 at 8:00 UTC.
    • This last happened in 1995, and won’t happen again until 2033.
    • In addition, this can only happen on February’s due to the month being shorter than the Moon’s Synodic period.
  • February 6: A Double-transit event that will occur from 10:20 – 12:44 UTC. The best place to view it is from Western North America.
  • February 14: The Full moon will take place. The moon will reach its full phase at 23:53 UTC.
  • February 21: The Moon will occult Saturn at approximately 22:18 UTC. This will be visible from the Indian Ocean.
  • February 26: The Wanning Crescent Moon will occult Venus at approximately 5:23 UTC. This event is best viewed in Central Africa.

If you have any questions, please let me know on: http://www.facebook.com/jolyastronomy

This month I will post some articles about our planet Earth. Stay Tuned!





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