February 26-28, 2021: The bright moon appears with the stars of Leo at month’s end.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
The bright moon appears with the stars of Leo during the final three days of the month. The chart above shows the moon with the stars in the morning. Since the lunar orb is opposite the sun, it is in the sky for most of the night. They are in the eastern sky after sunset.
The moon reaches its Full phase (Snow Moon) at 2:17 a.m. CST on February 27.
Leo is a constellation that somewhat resembles its namesake. A backwards question mark represents theLlion’s head. We see a side-view of the westward facing big cat. The question mark shape is also known as the “Sickle of Leo,” a farmer’s harvesting tool.
A triangle marks the haunches and tail of the Lion. Denebola is the tail.
With the bright moon in near these stars, block the moon’s light (with your hand as you would to the sun) to see the starfield.
Here’s what to look for in the morning about an hour before sunrise:
February 26: The nearly full moon is low in the western sky. It is 5.1° to the right of Regulus, the constellation’s brightest star.
February 27: The moon reaches its Full phase at 2:17 a.m. CST. As the morning sky brightens, the moon is about 15° up in the west. The lunar orb is between Regulus and Denebola, but below a line that connects the two stars.
February 28: One hour before sunrise the very bright moon – over 20° in altitude in the west-southwest – is 8.6° to the lower left of Denebola.
Read more about the planets during February.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
October 29 – November 1, 2021: The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise. Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!
October 26, 27, and 28, 2021: During the early morning hours, the bright gibbous moon appears in front of Gemini’s stars.